Corriere della Sera, June 10, 2015
Hot on the heels of the recent — and Russia-less — G7 meeting in Germany, Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Italy on Wednesday, highlighting the way that business ties could be a way out of Moscow's standoff with the West.
In an interview published Wednesday in Corriere della Sera newspaper, Putin sought to reassure his European adversaries: ""I'm not an aggressor," he told the Milan daily. "I want a pact with Europe."
To mark Russia's national day, Putin toured the Russian pavilion at Milan's Expo 2015 with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Putin said in the interview that he considers Russia to have a "privileged" relationship with Italy.
The Russian president's trip includes a stop in Rome, where he will meet Pope Francis, and maybe even his old friend and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Seeking to end Moscow's international isolation, Putin brought along an entourage of Russian business leaders to discuss commercial deals with Italian counterparts. He also urged Russian involvement in several geopolitical issues, including the UN peace plan for Libya.
ABOUT THE SOURCE: Corriere della Sera ("The Evening Newspaper") is a leading Italian daily distributed every morning. It was founded in Milan in 1876 and is owned by RCS MediaGroup.