(AGI) Moscow, March 26 - Italian business is on a mission toTatarstan, one of the most economically developed regions ofRussia, heralding the revival of relations after the tensionscreated by the Ukrainian crisis and the sanctions thatfollowed. The first Italian trade mission of this year wasorganised by the Italian Embassy in Moscow and the ItalianTrade Commission (ICE) in Kazan, capital of the Tatarstanrepublic. Its leader, Ambassador Cesare Maria Ragaglini, saysthat it was discussed by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renziand his Russian counterpart Dmitri Medvedev during a meeting inMoscow on March 5. They vowed to encourage similar initiativesin other parts of the Russian Federation. Ragaglini, heading adelegation of 18 businesses, met the president of Tatarstan,Rustam Minnikhanov. During the meeting, it became clear thatKazan is highly interested in Italian technology and know-how,while Italian companies want to strengthen ties with therepublic by increasing trade, creating joint ventures andlaunching industrial cooperation. "The economic ties betweenTatarstan and Italy are very solid," said Ambassador Ragaglini."Trade is worth more than one and a half billion dollars, witha trade surplus for Tatarstan because Italy imports oil. Weneed to adjust the balance and Italian firms are keen to exporttheir expertise and capabilities to the region, where localcompanies are similarly eager. So it is not only aboutexporting goods, but also about industrial cooperation, throughwhich Italy can bring significant added value to the Tatareconomy." The ambassador also delivered a speech at theUniversity of Architecture in Kazan, while the companies hadmeetings with local firms.. .