MOSCOW, August 11 (RIA Novosti), Irina Andreyeva – An Italian shopkeeper in Moscow, Don Giulio Zompi, says Russians should not have a reason to be unhappy with their country, as they should not fear that Italian food would disappear after the import ban on European food. He will simply make the products in Russia. A RIA Novosti correspondent visited Zompi’s shop and discussed Russian politics.
THE RULES OF THE COUNTRY
An Italian who decided to introduce genuine Italian foods to Russia has a small underground storage space, in an old two-story building on Pokrovka Street in Moscow’s historical center. The space is full of wine bottles, boxes and documents.
“I realized one thing: Each country has its own rules. When you know these rules, you can live well. Don’t try to make a country follow your rules, it’s not going to work,” says the shop owner, a man with a Bluetooth earpiece, which beeps every five minutes.
“All of our Italian workers and their families live in Russia. They are here because they love Russia,” Giulio says with a smile. “We are all like a family.”
“Of course, they have difficulties with the language, but they practice it every day by talking to customers,” he says.
“I also have a Russian wife and a child, and I am not going to leave,” he adds. “I think my dad is proud of me, like he is proud of my brother, an architect.”
CHEESE OR NO CHEESE
“So you will sell all this, and there will be no more cheese?” a customer asks trying to figure out what food she should squirrel away due to the Russian embargo on European food import.
The shop owner only smiles.
“No one can predict that, but the selection of cheese and meat will inevitably be reduced. But I have a small surprise for my customers. Long ago, my friend and I decided to produce Italian cheese, and now we will start producing sausages as well,” he says.
“We will make them in Russia, by hand, following the Italian tradition. The only thing is that we didn’t want to rush, but now we have to,” Giulio says, adding he has been selling mozzarella made in Russia using an Italian recipe for months, “and most customers don’t care anymore where it is made.”
LOGIC AND GOLD
“Unfortunately, many people abroad, including politicians, believe that Russia is trying to take revenge. But it is just a logical response. If politicians failed to predict this, they are simply not professional,” he says about the import ban, introduced last week in response to EU and US sanctions.
“Russia hasn’t done any harm to Italy. On the contrary, Russians love Italy, and Italians love Russia. I’ve read hundreds of comments from Italians who have no idea why the EU imposed sanctions on Russia,” Giulio says.
“The Italian government, in theory, should be the voice of the people, but it’s not. It is supposed to be independent and take its interests and the interests of the country into account,” he says.
Giulio says Russians should have no reason to be unhappy with their country.
“If people are given half a kilo of gold every day for a year, by the end of the year they still will be unsatisfied, unsatisfied with themselves. Their environment or the city will not be able to make them happy,” he says.