Russian FM Lavrov to Visit Slovenia

03. 05. 2013

Russian FM Lavrov to Visit Slovenia

Erjavec and Lavrov meet at Brdo pri Kranju to debate a wide range of European and international topics and address issues of common interest. They will also extend an existing agreement on cooperation in culture, science, education and sport until 2015 and pen an new agreement on war graves. The pair will then jointly address the press.


According to the Russian Embassy in Ljubljana, several thousand Russians fought on Slovenian territory against the Fascist and Nazis during WWII. Some 3,000 killed Russian soldiers are buried in around 50 burial grounds around Slovenia.


According to the Russian press agency Itar-Tass, Lavrov will also attend the screening of the Russian Battalion documentary about Soviet soldiers who fight Nazism on the territory of Slovenia.


Slovenia and Russia have a history of good relations. In May 2012, they marked 20 years of diplomatic relations, while over the past few years they gave concluded over 50 agreements.


Currently, they are working on their biggest project - the construction of the South Stream pipeline through Slovenia, which will supply Europe with Russian gas.



Only last week, PM Alenka Bratušek met the boss of Russia's energy company Gazprom, Alexey Miller, to reassure him that Slovenia remains dedicated to the project also after the recent change of government.

The South Stream pipeline remains a priority for Slovenia and its construction is in the interest of Slovenia and the broader region, Bratušek said last Friday.


The pipeline leg running through Slovenia is estimated at around EUR 1.1bn and its construction is scheduled to begin in 2015. This part of the pipeline could be operational in 2017.


The most recent Slovenia-Russia meeting took place in November 2012, when Erjavec met Communications Minister Nikolay Nikiforov, who was in Slovenia for a session of the intergovernmental commission for trade, economic and science cooperation.


The ministers called for boosting Russian investment in Sloveniaand for liberalization of the visa system. Nikiforov moreover said that the privatisation of some state-owned companies planned by the Slovenian government would be of great interest to Russian bankers.


Russian business representatives view Slovenia as a gateway to the EU and global markets, said Nikiforov, adding that private investments will strengthen economic ties.


Economic cooperation with Russia is of great importance to Slovenia. Exports to Russia have been increasing constantly since 2009, reaching EUR 881.5m in 2012, which was a 17.9% rise over 2011, data from the Statistics Office show.


However, imports from Russia are much more modest, dropping by 5.1% to EUR 378.9m in 2012.

The Russian market is also very interesting for Slovenian tourism sector. Last year, 52,000 Russians visited Slovenia, which was a 27% increase over the previous year, according to the Statistics Office.


Moreover, every year, the two countries commemorate hundreds of Russian POWs who built the Vršič mountain pass during World War I at a ceremony at the Russian Chapel built by the POWs after some 300 of their comrades were killed in an avalanche while building the road.


Lavrov is coming to Slovenia from Hungary, where he is scheduled to meet FM Janos Martonyi, who was in Slovenia last week. Lavrov and Slovenian FM Erjavec last meet in October 2012 in Moscow.


Source: Slovenia times


Russian FM Lavrov to Visit Slovenia