Russian President to Make His First Visit to Italy

MOSCOW, June 4 (Itar-Tass) - President Vladimir Putin will make his first visit to Western Europe after the inauguration to Italy on June 5-6. The visit programme includes talks with the Italian president and prime minister in Rome, an audience with Pope John Paul II in the Vatican and meetings with big industrialists.

Italy was chosen for the first visit not by chance. Itar-Tass learnt from deputy head of the Kremlin staff Sergei Prikhodko that Moscow paid attention to "polite and restrained" position of Rome and the Vatican on the North Caucasus and values stable economic relations with Italy.

Putin will arrive in Rome on Monday noon. He will have a meeting with Italian premier Giuliano Amato with the participation of the Russian delegation.

Following the meeting, the sides will sign two documents: a protocol of bilateral technical cooperation for 2000-2001 and an intergovernment agreement on cooperation in tourism.

Then, Putin will head for the Vatican for an audience with John Paul II, which will be held at the library of the papal palace.

Following a 90-minute visit to the Vatican, the Russian leader will go to the presidential palace. He will be greeted there by Italian President Carlo Ciampi, and the leaders of the two states will hold talks. The day will be rounded off with a dinner which will be given by Ciampi in honour of the Russian president.

Putin will meet editors-in-chief of leading Italian publications on Tuesday, June 6. Then, he will participate in an usual ceremony: the unveiling of a Pushkin monument in the Borghese Villa park. The bronze bust was made by Russian sculptor Orekhov and presented to Rome from Moscow as a gift.

Putin will depart for Milan in early afternoon. He will meet the mayor and members of the business community. The visit programme also provides for the Russian president's talks with manager of Italian biggest fuel company ENI Paolo Mincato and FIAT honorary president Giovanni Agnelli.

Following a sight-seeing tour of Milan, Putin will depart for Moscow in the evening.

bur/

 

Putin to Discuss Economic Projects during Visit to Italy

MOSCOW, June 5 (Itar-Tass) - Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Italy from June 5 to 6 in his first trip to Western Europe following his inauguration. He is to hold talks with the Italian President and the Prime Minister in Rome. Putin is to be received in audience by the Pope in the Vatican and to socialise with prominent members of the business community.

It is not fortuitous that Italy has been chosen for the President's first visit. Sergei Prikhodko, Deputy Head of the Kremlin administration, has told Itar-Tass that Moscow paid attention to Rome's and the Vatican's "correct and reserved " position on the North Caucasus, and appreciates the stability of economic contacts with Italy.

Putin is to arrive in Rome at mid-day on Monday. His meeting with Italian Premier Giuliano Amato in Chigi Palace will be held with the participation of the two sides' delegations. At the close of the meeting, the sides are to sign two documents: a protocol on bilateral technical cooperation for 2000-2001 and an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the field of tourism.

Then, Putin will head for the Vatican to be received in audiences by Pope John Paul II in the library of the Papal palace.

After a one and a half hour visit to the Vatican, the Russian President will move to Quirinale Palace where he will be met by Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. The leaders of the two states will hold talks. The day will end with a dinner which by Carlo Ciampi will give in honour of Vladimir Putin.

On Tuesday, June 6, the Russian President will meet the chief editors of major Italian publications. He then will attend an unusual ceremony to unveil a monument to Alexander Pushkin in the park of Borghese villa. Pushkin's bronze bust was cast by Russian sculptor Orekhov and is to be presented to Rome as a gift from Moscow.

In the middle of the day, Putin will leave for Milan to meet the mayor and members of the business community. He is scheduled to meet Paulo Mincato, manager of the major Italian fuel company ENI, and Giovanni Agnelli, honorary president of the Fiat motor company. After a sight-seeing tour of Milan, Putin will leave for Moscow in the evening.

(c) 1996-2000 ITAR-TASS. All rights reserved.