MOSCOW (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, in Moscow on Thursday for talks with President Vladimir Putin, laid flowers on the bridge where Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov was murdered last week.
Nemtsov, 55, was shot dead meters from the Kremlin late on Friday as he was walking home.
His killing has focused attention on the perils facing Putin’s opponents, and many European politicians and diplomats attended Nemtsov’s funeral in Moscow on Tuesday.
The Kremlin has denied accusations that it played a role in his death. Police are yet to detain any suspects or announce significant progress in the murder investigation.
Speaking to reporters at the start of their meeting, Putin and Renzi said they would discuss the Ukraine crisis, as well as instability in Libya, Italy’s near-neighbor across the Mediterranean Sea.
“Come what may, our trade and economic relations are in very good condition,” Putin said. “There are, of course, losses related to well-known events,” he added, referring to EU sanctions triggered by the Ukraine conflict.
Renzi said he had a series of issues he wanted to raise with Putin. “First of all there is the question of European Union relations with Russia in the context of the Ukraine crisis,” he said, speaking through an interpreter.
“But there are also questions about relations in the Mediterranean Sea region, the very grave situation in Libya, which I would like to discuss with you,” he told Putin.
Reporting by Denis Dyomkin and Alexander Winning; Editing by Christian Lowe and Crispian Balmer