(AGI) Moscow, June 10 - A framework agreement between Italianindustrialists' organisation Confindustria, ConfindustriaRussia, and Delovaya Rossiya, one of Russia's biggest businessassociations, was signed on Wednesday in Milan on the sidelinesof President Vladimir Putin's visit to Italy. "This is animportant step in the implementation of theinternationalisation strategy pursued by Confindustria, ofwhich the recent relaunch of Confindustria Russia is proof",its president Ernesto Ferlenghi told AGI, from Milan. Thepresident said he wants to make the association "a bridge"between Italian companies and potential customers throughoutRussia, also due to the synergy with Delovaya Rossiya, which isstrongly rooted in the regions of this immense country. Theagreement is part of a more general attempt to strengthenlongstanding relationships between businesses in the twocountries, overcoming the difficulties created by the sanctionsregime against Moscow. It was signed by Edoardo Garrone,Confindustria delegate for associative internationalisation,President of Delovaya Rossiya, Alexey Repik, and ErnestoFerlenghi. The ceremony was held before a meeting between PrimeMinister Matteo Renzi and the Kremlin leader, who visited Expotogether before a bilateral meeting. The development ofsynergies with business associations in the Russian Federationis one of the primary objectives of Confindustria Russia,relaunched a few months ago. The signing of a cooperationagreement with Opora Rossii, the All-Russian publicorganisation for SMEs, is planned for June 29 in Moscow, duringthe Europe-Russia Forum. The purpose of the agreement is "toensure a strong coordination with one of the largestassociations of Russian companies (450,000 members), importantas part of the strategy of strengthening our SMEs in thecountry", said Confindustria Russia. "At a time of real risk oflosing market share these initiatives are a strong signal ofconsolidation of the Italian presence in the territory andattention to local content as a priority in relations withRussia," Mr Ferlenghi added. .