Monday, April 06, 2009
Berlusconi Postpones Visit After Earthquake
06 April 2009 - Moscow Times - Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has postponed a visit to Moscow after an earthquake of 6.3 magnitude shook central Italy early Monday morning, leaving more than 20 dead and thousands injured. Berlusconi declared a state of emergency and has not announced a new date for the visit, the Italian Embassy in Moscow said. A group of businessmen were to accompany him for an Italian-Russian economic forum. The visit was expected to be capped with a signing ceremony Tuesday between Gazprom and Eni, Italy's biggest oil and gas group. The two companies agreed last month that Gazprom would buy a 20 percent stake in its oil arm that Eni won in an auction in April 2007. Eni could become the outright owner of the Gazprom Neft shares if Thursday's deadline for the buyback passes. Gazprom may also acquire from Eni and its partner Enel a 51 percent stake in Siberian gas assets won at the same auction.