Italian corporations that were forced to leave the Russian market due to Western sanctions are considering the possibility of returning, according to the president of the Association of Italian Entrepreneurs in Russia (GIM Unimpresa), Vittorio Torrembini. He revealed that Italy’s exports to Russia have declined by about 35% since February 2022 when the US, EU, and their allies imposed sanctions on Moscow over the Ukraine conflict.
Torrembini emphasized the importance of the Russian market for Italian companies and stated that investments in Russia should not be abandoned. He pointed out that ten companies operating mainly in the oil and gas sector had suspended their activities in Russia after its military operation in Ukraine.
The president of GIM Unimpresa mentioned that state-owned company Enel, which is engaged in electricity production, and Leonardo, which works in the defense sector, were sold for very low prices. He considered these actions as irrevocable. However, he mentioned that almost all the Italian companies that left the Russian market expressed a desire to return. Specifically, Maire Tecnimont and Saipem, which used to work in the energy sector and had contracts worth billions of euros, were keen on returning.
Torrembini previously stated that Italian giants such as Pirelli, Barilla, and Ferrero had decided to continue operating in Russia. He also revealed that 110 companies from Italy were still running production capacities in the sanctions-affected country, and 150 members of GIM Unimpresa maintained their presence in Russia.
In conclusion, despite the decline in exports to Russia, Italian corporations that were previously forced to leave the market due to sanctions are now considering a return. The importance of the Russian market for Italian companies and the desire to maintain investments in Russia have been emphasized. The decision of several Italian giants to continue operating in the country indicates a positive outlook for future trade and business relations between Italy and Russia.