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(AGI) St Petersburg, June 19 - Sberbank and Italian ExportCredit Agency SACE signed a memorandum of understanding at theInternational Economic Forum in St Petersburg. CEO and chairmanof the Executive Board German Gref signed for Sberbank and CEOAlessandro Castellano for SACE. In a press release they said:"The main objective of this memorandum is the development oflong-term cooperation between Sberbank of Russia and SACE inthe field of export credit to support foreign trade operationsbetween the Russian Federation and Italy." Mr Gref said: "Thememorandum of understanding is further evidence of our mutualinterest in active support of trade relations between Italy andRussia. With SACE we are developing our export credit productsrange in accordance with our client needs. We consider thatthere is high potential for development of trade and economiccooperation between Russia and Italy following the negotiationsbetween the leaders of our countries, which took place duringRussian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Italy on June 10."Mr Castellano said: "With more than 4.4 billion [euros] ofexposure in our portfolio, Russia remains the top foreignmarket for SACE. Alongside Sberbank, Russia's largest bank, andin compliance with relevant international regulatory framework,we continue to ensure our support to export and investmentactivities of Italian companies in the country representing awide demand for Italian technologies and goods." At the StPetersburg Forum, Mr Castellano met the heads of Russianfinancial institutions and companies, to help involve Italianexporters in projects in Russia. These include a study of amajor operation in the Yamal LNG project, involving apartnership between Novatek, Total and CNPC. (AGI) . .