Italian companies have received $2 billion contracts on Russia's Nord Stream gas pipeline, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said during his Italian visit on Monday.
"Italian companies constructing gas pipeline systems under the Baltic Sea, have received contracts for $2 billion on one Nord Stream project and that won't be all," Putin told a news conference after the talks with his Italian counterpart, Silvio Berlusconi.
He said sums on future contracts will increase following the execution of projects like the South Stream gas pipeline.
Nord Stream, which will run under the Baltic sea from Russia to Germany, is due to be launched at the end of 2011. The pipeline is to pump 55 billion cubic meters of gas to western Europe every year.
Italy is one of Russia's leading trade partners, with bilateral trade reaching its all-time maximum of $52.9 billion in 2008. The figure declined in 2009 to $32.9 due to the financial crisis.
The two countries are involved in numerous joint projects, including the construction of South Stream, the development and production of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft and modernizing Russia's railway network.
MILAN, April 26 (RIA Novosti)