The president of Assocalzaturifici, Annarita Pilotti, met with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at the inauguration of Obuv' Mir Koži, the international exhibition for shoes and leather products in Moscow, and discussed with him of the difficult situation that Italian shoe companies exporting to the region are still facing. This year's edition of the Russian trade show, which ran on Oct. 22-25, saw the participation of 130 Italian shoe brands. The event is part of Assocalzaturifici's series of events promoting Italian footwear around the world. Italian exports have been heavily affected by the EU economic sanctions against Russia, combined with the devaluation of the ruble and rising oil prices. Italian shoe exports to Russia were worth €600 million in 2013, and were down to €379 million in 2017. In the first half of 2018, exports dropped to €161 million, representing an 8 percent decline compared with the same period last year. In the overall CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) region, which also includes other territories of the former Soviet Union, Italian shoe exports were worth €483 million in 2017, while they amounted to €212 million in the first half of 2018, down by 5.3 percent compared with the first half of 2017.