Russia and Italy sign agreement on converting former USSR debt into investment

Russia and Italy have signed an agreement on converting the former USSR's debt into investment. The document was signed following the 7th session of the Russian-Italian Council on economic, industrial and monetary cooperation.

Co-chairman of the Council, Russia's Vice Premier and Minister of Finance Alexei Kudrin told journalists that the major outcome of the Rome negotiations was vast plans to extend bilateral investment cooperation. Namely, he meant new large-scale schemes comparable to the "Blue Stream" project.

Kudrin stressed that particular attention would be paid to creating the so-called "industrial regions." It is a widely-used practice in Italy under which a network of small and medium businesses are set up around large corporations. According to Kudrin, such possible "industrial regions" have already been singled out in Russia.

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