Russia can publish recordings of talks between Sergei Lavrov and Donald Trump, so that the Americans themselves can see if Trump disclosed any secret information. Vladimir Putin said. The only condition is that the White House itself must agree to this. The statement was made after talks with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, which took place in Sochi.
Moscow is ready to cooperate with any interested countries, noted the President, and the results of the meeting with the Italian leader became proof of this. Dmitry Petrov reporting. Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni flew to Sochi shortly before the summit of the Big Seven. For the leader of one of the most important European countries, this is a good opportunity to compare notes and take into account Russia's position, with which Italy has traditionally kept good relations. Greeting his guest, Putin notes Gentiloni's personal contribution to Russian-Italian cooperation. Unfortunately, we saw some decline in trade, but as soon as you became the Prime Minister, our trade began to grow, in the first two months of this year, an increase of 28%. But the international agenda is coming to the forefront. In Italy too, we closely monitor what is happening between Moscow and Washington.
And the first question of the Italian reporters to the Russian President: what secret information did Trump give to Lavrov? In the United States, a political schizophrenia is developing. And there is no other way that I can explain, the accusations of the current President in that he gave Lavrov some secrets. Incidentally, I spoke with him on this subject today, I will have to reprimand him, because he did not share these secrets with us, neither with me, nor with representatives of Russia's special services, that's not very nice of him. Moreover... moreover, if the United States administration finds it possible, we are ready to provide the recording of conversation between Lavrov and Trump, for the US Senate and the Congress. Of course, if the US administration will want it.
The tendency to constantly blame Russia for all problems, this Putin considers an expression of the domestic political struggle of the American elites. In the beginning, when we saw how this process of internal political struggle is developing, it was funny for us. Today it's not just sad, it causes concern, because what else can those people come up with, who generate such nonsense, such absurdity. It's hard to imagine, all this is done on the basis of inciting anti-Russian sentiments. Do you know what surprises me? They are shaking-up the domestic political situation in the United States, under anti-Russian slogans. They either don't understand that they are actually hurting their own country, and then they're just stupid. Or they understand everything, and then they are dangerous and unscrupulous people. But in any case, this is USA's own business, and we didn't intend to interfere there, and will not. As for the assessment of President Trump's actions, it's not our business either, and the American people, the American voter, should give this assessment. But of course, it can be done only when they let him work at full strength.
On the sidelines, both the Italian and the Russian press are discussing the Lavrov-Trump talks. Here the journalists are almost attacking the assistant to the President, Ushakov. I think, every contact with the President of a country like the US, is important and valuable. We never comment on the discussions that were held. The relationship between Russia and Europe also worries the press. Because the question of, what message after the talks in Sochi does the Italian PM wants to convey to the leaders of the Group of Seven, is quite expected. The message is very simple, Russia plays an important role in the international arena, and we must take its interests into account. Russia's point of view should become one of the topics of discussion at the upcoming G-7 summit. As for my message, which I gave to Mr. Prime Minister. It is secret in nature, and I can't tell you about this.
When it comes to whether the 7 will become an 8 again, the head of the Italian government makes it clear: the issue is not in the change of the format, but in the fact that it is necessary to work with Russia in any case. Putin also reminds: it was not us who burned the bridges. We did not refuse to work in the G8, our partners did not want to come to us, and we will always be happy to welcome all those who want to cooperate with Russia, in any format. Soon we will work in the G20 framework in the Federal Republic of Germany. Very recently, we were in China, where the President of China, Mr. Xi Jinping, proposed a very impressive program of cooperation. I am sure that working in this format without any restrictions, without any political bias, we can achieve results. Italy considers cooperation with Russia to be one of the main priorities.
And today, at once, three agreements are signed by Rosneft, including a strategic agreement with the Italian energy giant Eni, regarding the start of drilling on the Black Sea shelf. This is a unique project, the depth is quite serious here, an aggressive environment, but the platform will be customized for this, and we hope for preliminary success. Our calculations show significant deposits on the Black Sea shelf. Dozens of projects in high tech, the aviation industry, space. But on the other hand, the development of relations is hampered by sanctions. And in the EU, there will soon be another discussion, to cancel them or leave it as it is. The Italian government consistently, has always taken a position against the strengthening of anti-Russian sanctions. Will you keep such consistency further? Our view is that there can be no automatic extension of sanctions. After the negotiations, journalists learned that Paolo Gentiloni brought Putin an Italian tie as a present. This has already become a tradition: during his last visit to Milan, as a present Putin also received a tie, dark blue with a clip.