15:05 GMT +319 April 2018
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    MOSCOW, January 30 (RIA Novosti) - The presentation of the project "500 Years of Italian-Russian Cultural Relations" took place in Moscow. Participants in the said presentation included Alexei Meshkov, Russia's deputy foreign minister, Gianfranco Facco Bonetti, Italy's ambassador to Russia, and Giancarlo Carena, director general of the Italconcert agency, who initiated the project.

    "Russian-Italian contacts in the sphere of cultural relations are active but insufficient. The aim of this project is to increase Russians' presence in Italy and Italians' presence in Russia," Carena said. He expressed the hope that the implementation of this project will give a new impetus to the further development of Russian-Italian cultural relations, primarily in the sphere of music, theater and ballet.

    In turn, Alexei Meshkov underlined the intensity of Italian-Russian dialogue in various spheres - political, economic and cultural. He stressed that Italy and Russia were continuing their talks on a more liberal visa regime for the two countries. "I am convinced that this project is in line with the efforts aimed at strengthening Russian-Italian relations in all spheres," Meshkov said.

    Various cultural organizations of Italy and Russia will take part in this project, including opera houses of Genoa, Triest, Parma, and Florence. Among Russian organizations which display interest in the project are the Bolshoi Theater, the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theater, etc.

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