Berlusconi and Medvedev meet for discussions on trade
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Russian President Dimitry Medvedev began talks Friday that are expected to focus mainly on economic ties between their two countries, DPA reported.
The two leaders were scheduled to hold a joint news conference after their lunch-time meeting in Milan.
Italy remains Russia's third largest trade partner, even though the volume of exchange between the two countries fell by 30 per cent in 2009 in the wake of the global economic slump.
However, the first four months of 2010 have registered an increase of more than 40 per cent in trade, compared to the same period last year.
Medvedev, escorted by a group of Russian elite security forces, is also slated to fly by helicopter to Italy's Valle D'Aosta Alpine region later Friday for a short ski holiday.
According to Italian news reports, the 44-year-old Medvedev is - weather conditions permitting - to attempt some ski runs on the Plateau Rosa glacier, which rises some 3,000 metres above sea level near Italy's border with Switzerland.
Medvedev is scheduled to return to Moscow on Sunday evening.