Mikhail Kasyanov to Open Russian Consulate General in Palermo

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov is to open a Russian consulate general in Palermo, Sicily. This will become the third Russian consulate on Italian territory; Moscow already has its consulate general in Milan and a consulate in Genoa. The decision to open the Sicilian consulate general can be explained by the need to deal with many tourists arriving from Russia to Sicily and vice versa.

Quite a few Russian citizens work in Sicily. Among other things, Russian professors lecture at the university of Palermo. Moreover, Russian athletes train at local sports centers, with Russian coaches working there all the same.

The Massimo opera theater in Palermo employs Russian choreographers. St. Petersburg's famous Mariinka theater performs in the ancient Syracuse theater each year. A weekly charter flight will link Moscow and Palermo each week starting with May 25.

Mikhail Kasyanov negotiated with Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi April 18. The two men discussed the state of bilateral relations and their prospects, relations between Russia and the European Union, as well as the situation in Iraq. Russian-Italian talks mostly focused on European politics, as well as the creation of common economic and legal infrastructures.

According to Kasyanov, Russia and the EU intend to formulate the common economic infrastructure concept by November 2003.

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