Eni's Russian relations good despite Cold War talk

SAN MARTINO IN CAMPO, Italy, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Italian oil company Eni's ENI.MI relations with Russia remain close, despite media talk of risks of a return to Cold War tensions, Chief Executive Paolo Scaroni said on Saturday.

“We bought oil and, especially, gas from Russia in eras that were much more tense than now,” Scaroni told Reuters on the sidelines of a business conference.

“Lightheartedly, I say: ‘We were buying oil and gas during the Cold War, today, with this slightly chilly war I see no reason to stop doing so’.”

Relations between Russia and the West have been strained by the war in Georgia, a former Soviet republic which is a transit route for oil and gas.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Thursday played down talk of a new Cold War. “Today there are no ideological contradictions, there is no basis for a Cold War,” he said.

Eni and Russia's Gazprom GAZP.MM have a strategic partnership that includes an energy assets swap yet to be finalised. (Reporting by Paolo Biondi; writing by Robin Pomeroy; editing by Michael Roddy)