OREANDA-NEWS The Italian government has called on the country's company management to refuse to participate in a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which will have to be held in a videoconference format. This is reported by Interfax.

According to an unnamed representative of the Italian authorities, the government has asked the heads of leading Italian companies not to participate in negotiations with the Russian leader because of the tense situation around Ukraine.

In turn, sources of the newspaper La Repubblica in the Italian government said that the country's authorities called on businessmen to either completely cancel the conference with Putin, or at least limit participation in it for the heads of companies whose shareholders include the Italian state. As a result, the heads of Eni and Snam companies decided to refuse to meet with the President of Russia.

In addition, it became known that the Italian Ambassador to Russia Giorgio Starace will also not attend the videoconference.

Putin's meeting with representatives of major Italian companies is scheduled for January 26. As noted in the Kremlin's press service, the sides will discuss trade, economic and investment cooperation between the countries in the format of a videoconference.

Presidential elections are taking place in Italy. The second round of presidential elections took place in the country's parliament, but no candidate was chosen. A larger number of deputies handed over empty ballots. The third round will take place today.