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Berlusconi to discuss pipelines at Putin party

October 20, 2009 Leave a comment

By Guy Dinmore in Rome, published on FT on Oct 20, 2009

A private birthday party on the shores of Lake Valdai, south of St Petersburg. Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s prime minister, has already bought a present for his close acquaintance, Vladimir Putin, and their two-day meeting this week is expected to focus on Russia’s controversial plans to build two more gas pipelines to Europe.

Franco Frattini, Italian foreign minister, confirmed to the Financial Times yesterday that Mr Berlusconi is expected to fly to St Petersburg tomorrow (Wednesday). He said he did not have a guest list or details of the Russian prime minister’s birthday celebrations. Read more…

Russia in G8 rebuke to Tehran

June 27, 2009 Leave a comment

published on FT on June 27 2009

Russia on Friday joined growing international condemnation of the Iranian crackdown on demonstrators, signing up to a statement by Group of Eight foreign ministers which also kept open the possibility of direct engagement with Tehran over its nuclear programme.

“We express our solidarity with those who have suffered repression while peacefully demonstrating, and urge Iran to respect fundamental human rights, including freedom of expression,” G8 ministers, meeting in Trieste, northern Italy, declared.

“We call on the Iranian government to guarantee that the will of the Iranian people is reflected in the electoral process,” the statement said, dedicating three paragraphs to Iran out of eight pages dealing with a wide range of
international issues. Read more…

Enel counsels prudence towards Russia (video)

September 7, 2008 Leave a comment

guy contiEu leaders should take a “measured approach” to Russia after the Georgia crisis, says Fulvio Conti, chief executive of Italian power utility Enel, given that 35% of European oil and gas comes from Russia. he tells Guy Dinmore, Rome correspondent, at the Ambrosetti economic forum in northern Italy that opportunities remain great to invest in Russia’s electricity system.
The interview was recorded on September 7th 2008

Click on picture or here to watch the video

U.S. VP Cheney accuses Russia of using “blunt force”

September 6, 2008 Leave a comment

By Guy Dinmore and John Thornhill in Cernobbio, Italy, Financial Times, London, UK, Sep 6 2008

Dick Cheney, the US vice president, broadened his attack on Russia late on Saturday, directly challenging Vladimir Putin’s view of history and warning that his government could “not have it both ways” by using “brute force” and still hoping to build economic progress. Mr Cheney saved his toughest anti-Russian speech for the last leg of his tour of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Italy.
Read more…

Barroso calls for cool heads, not Cold War (video)

September 6, 2008 Leave a comment

barrosoNext week’s diplomatic discussions with Russia will focus on the status of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, says, José Manuel Barroso, European Commision president, and will recognise Russia’s right to defend its legitimate interests. At a press conference at the Ambrosetti forum in northern Italy, he tells Guy Dinmore that the EU recognises Russia’s right to defend its legitimate interests through diplomacy and dialogue. He also admits European growth will moderate and on sovereign wealth funds he calls for a global voluntary code of conduct.

Click on picture or here to watch the video

Finmeccanica: Oil powers fuel confidence of Italian conglomerate

July 14, 2008 Leave a comment

By Guy Dinmore

Published: July 14 2008

Soaring commodity prices and falling incomes have hit many Italian companies but for Finmeccanica – the defence-aeronautics-rail-power-plants conglomerate – oil-rich states offer expanding markets while the US remains a constant in big weapons spending. Read more…

Kosovo falls hostage to big power rivalry

October 27, 2006 Leave a comment

By Guy Dinmore in Washington

Published: October 27 2006

The US has sent a special envoy to Kosovo and Serbia to press both sides to keep the peace as the international community prepares to decide the status of the United Nations-run province.

Diplomats and politicians on all sides expect a messy and inconclusive outcome, and fear further ethnic ­violence in Kosovo with peacekeepers from Nato caught in the middle.

Few believe that Martti Ahtisaari, the former Finnish president acting as UN mediator, can broker a compromise. This weekend Serbian voters are likely to approve by referendum a new constitution reaffirming Kosovo as part of Serbia, while the province’s ethnic Albanian majority overwhelmingly aspires to, and expects, full independence.

Read more…