Rome is a key partner for Moscow, Putin tells Italian businesses

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MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin told Italian business executives via a video link on Wednesday that Italy was a key partner for Moscow, as western tensions with the Kremlin over Ukraine rise.

At an online meeting originally set for November and which drew criticism from Italian government, Putin also told executives from Italy’s top companies that Russia was a reliable energy supplier and that Rome was able to buy gas from Gazprom at lower prices thanks to long-term deals.