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The Italian construction firm Rizzani de Eccher has signed a statement of intent to invest 1 billion euros to develop the tourism sector in Russia's violence-racked North Caucasus region.

The deal was signed on the sidelines of a two-day visit to Russia by Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti.

The protocol of intention envisions the development of beach and ski resorts in North Ossetia, Daghestan, Krasnodar Krai, and the Adygeya Republic.

According to the Interfax news agency, the firm North Caucasus Resorts in 2011 signed deals with Russian and foreign investors worth a total of $6 billion.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax

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