According to the President of Conoscere Eurasia Association, Sicily managed to step up economic cooperation with Moscow despite the sanctions:
“Today, Sicily shows that innovation can and should act as the engine of economic relations with Moscow. From here we have to start to overcome the obstacle in the form of sanctions and to continue on the path of cooperation,” Fallico, who is also the chairman of Banca Intesa Russia said.
He noted that Sicily managed to step up economic cooperation with Moscow in spite of the sanctions regime, which has resulted in the Italy’s food exports to Russia falling by 32 percent.
“Exports from Sicily to Russia amounted to more than 25 million euros in 2015, an increase of 43 percent compared with the previous year,” Fallico said.
According to the data provided by the Conoscere Eurasia Association, this result was possible largely thanks to exports of electronic and optical equipment, made in Sicily.
Relations between Russia and Europe went downhill in 2014, when Brussels accused Moscow of fueling the Ukrainian crisis and imposed several rounds of sanctions on it. The restrictions targeted Russia’s banking, energy and defense sectors.
The Russian authorities have refuted the allegations, warning that the Western sanctions are counterproductive. In response to the Western restrictive measures, in August 2014, Russia announced a food embargo on some products originating in states that imposed sanctions against it.