“We are forced into hiding, but we defend our interests” – Corriere.it

Vittorio Tormbini is one of the Italian entrepreneurs present at Spief, St. Petersburg Economic Forum. He says I come there every year. Torrembini has been working in Russia since 1989. Today he has his own consulting company, in addition, he leads the Gim-Unimpresa, an association representing 150 Italian companies operating in Putin’s territory.

Russian Davos

This year, however, I’ve preferred to be in Spief informally, as an observer – defines entrepreneur, with a strong Parma accent despite his many years in Moscow – this is Russia’s Davos, you have no idea how many people are there. Usually, deals and deals are endless. Until yesterday, we, Russia’s active entrepreneurs, were championsPeople who have expanded business frontiers for the benefit of our country, too. Since that damn day we have had to hide. The day in question is February 24, the date of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Don’t let me make political judgments, we business men and women are only interested in business diplomacy. Of course, the patriotism of the Russians is underestimated. Here everyone realizes the tragedy of the conflict, a struggle between brotherly peoples. But then the defense of Mother Russia always prevails.

Obstacles from Europe

The Italian-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Confindustria Russia are present at the Forum in St. Petersburg. Nobody talks willingly. One thing I can tell you: it is not the Russian authorities that are causing us trouble here, Obstacles are placed directly in front of us by Europe, and in particular by Italians. But the risk of expropriation? No, such a rule has never been introduced, and in any case, the first people who have an interest in the continuation of production by our subsidiaries in Russia are the Russians. You will lose jobs. What are the obstacles then? Bring the raw materials and start the final work Not only did it become more difficult, but it also became 20% more expensive. Then there are banking transactions. disaster. A week ago many of us had their accounts banned, and our credit cards no longer work. Then the embassy intervened, and now the situation is back to normal. On the other hand, understandable: Italy has done the same with many Russians in our country.

Not only Italians

In fact, there are not only Italian companies in Russia. Torembini says Americans are best at serving their own interests. When US companies need to import components or equipment, they obtain temporary permits. This is not possible with us. So, the French did not blame anyone: Who wants to stay stain-free. The Germans are with the big multinationals and that makes them even more vulnerable. And what about the Italians? We are young. From ceramics to cosmetics to furniture: we stand up for our interests. Stay under the radar.

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