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Italian companies want to return to Russia – industrial group — RT Business News

Exports to sanctioned country have fallen 35% since last year, says trade association head

A number of Italian companies that were forced to leave the Russian market due to Western sanctions would like to return, the president of the Association of Italian Entrepreneurs in Russia (GIM Unimpresa) said on Thursday.

Vittorio Torrembini told Izvestia newspaper that Italian exports to Russia have fallen by around 35% since February 2022, when the US, EU and their allies imposed several rounds of sanctions on Moscow over the Ukraine conflict .

“I have said many times that the Russian market is very important for Italian companies, and not only for them,” » said Torrembini. He added that investments in Russia “cannot be thrown to the wind.”

Torrembini pointed out that ten companies operating mainly in the oil and gas sector had announced the suspension of their activities in Russia after the launch of its military operation in Ukraine.

“In addition, the public company Enel, which produces electricity, was sold at a very low price, as well as Leonardo, which works in the defense sector,” he said, describing these steps as “irrevocable.”

The economic official added that almost all Italian companies that left the Russian market expressed a desire to return.

“In particular Maire Tecnimont and Saipem, who worked in the energy sector and had contracts worth billions of euros. I don’t think the shareholders of these companies don’t want to come back,” Torrembini said.

The boss of GIM Unimpresa pointed out last October that Italian giants like Pirelli, Barilla and Ferrero had decided to continue operating in Russia. Earlier this year, Torrembini said 110 Italian companies were still operating production capacities in the sanctions-hit country, while 150 members of GIM Unimpresa maintained their presence in Russia.

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