A meeting of the Russian part of the Russian-Italian Dialogue Forum representing civil societies took place in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russia on January 26, 2017.
Among the participants of the meeting there were representatives of business and political circles, higher educational establishments, and public organizations, including the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoy, First Councilor of the Italian Embassy in Russia Roberto Orlando, Deputy Governor of Kaluga region Vladimir Potyomkin, co-founder of Arlacchi & Deryabin Foundation Alexey Deryabin, and many others.
During the opening ceremony the co-chairman of the Russian-Italian Dialogue Forum representing civil societies and Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vladimir Dmitriev said: “In the upcoming year we will be slightly more optimistic, as there are reasons to believe in the warming of the political climate between Russia and the West. We are interested in the restoration of the full-scale political and economic dialogue with Italy as soon as possible”.
During the meeting the results of the Forum's operation in 2016 were concluded. The participants viewed presentations of the main projects realized in the line of cultural and humanitarian collaboration.
Following the initiative of the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoy, the Russian side provides annual support to the Russian Culture Studies Center at Ca' Foscari University of Venice. The center is the main site of Russian culture both for the students and tutors of the university and for the whole Northeast Italy.
In collaboration with the Fund for Social and Cultural Initiative, the Dialogue Forum supports the work of the Montecatini Terme – Saint Petersburg International Opera Academy and regular exchange of workshops by distinguished Russian and Italian opera celebrities in the framework of Montecatini Terme International Opera Festival.
The Dialogue Forum and the Directorate for International Programs support cultural and enlightenment projects of the Russian Cultural Mission in Milan and the organization of the Apulia region art festival in Moscow. The Forum provides support to the Chernomyrdin Fund in organizing an annual Russian-Italian literature festival Gorky Award.
With the support of the Dialogue Forum, the Russian Central Museum of Contemporary History prepared and hosted an exhibition about the lives and creative work of two famous women of Russia and Italy, actresses Eleonora Duse and Vera Komissarzhevskaya.
A Russian-Italian Scientific and Educational Center has been functioning in the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration under the aegis of the Dialogue Forum for almost four years. The center regularly organizes seminars and round tables dedicated to economic collaboration between Russia and Italy. The experience of the two countries is applied to the stimulation of small and medium businesses development.
A new study course focusing on the education of specialists for the cultural and antiques markets in Russia and Italy was opened in the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation at the initiative of the Dialogue Forum.
The Institute of Russian History of the Academy of Sciences of the Russian Federation organizes a wide range of events together with the Italian colleagues and with the support of the Dialogue Forum. It publishes monographs and holds bilateral scientific seminars.
In view of the importance of the tasks aimed at the alignment of relations between Russia and Italy, the participants discussed the possibility of including different Russian companies into the partnership. This year Arlacchi & Deryabin Foundation will join the work of the Dialogue Forum as its new participant.
The Russian-Italian Dialogue Forum representing civil societies was created in 2004 at the initiative of the President of the Russian Federation V. V. Putin and the head of the Italian Cabinet of Ministers S. Berlusconi. In September 2009 V. A. Dmitriev was appointed a co-chairman of the Forum on the Russian part, and Luisa Todini, the head of the Italian Post – on the Italian part.
The main aim of the Russian-Italian Dialogue Forum representing civil societies is to form new potential areas of collaboration, to develop the infrastructure of bilateral relations outside of the state level in the spheres of economy, science, education, cultural and humanitarian exchange among non-governmental and public organizations.
In Italy the projects of the Dialogue Forum were supported by Eni, Enel, Leonardo (former Finmeccanica), Intesa, UniCredit, Pirelli, Fincantieri, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, Sace, and Salini Impregilo.
The function of financial support of the events organized at the initiative of the Russian part is fulfilled by the Forum Dialogue, Non-Commercial Partnership. Among its co-founders there are Vnesheconombank, Sukhoi AHC (OJSC), and TMK (OJSC). In 2014 RZD (OJSC), NOVATEK (OJSC), and IMA Group joined the partnership.