The Slovenia Times

A Slovene - Russian Weekend


Gantar said Gryzlov's visit, which is taking place as part of the annual ceremony held at the Russian Chapel on Vrsic mountain pass to commemorate Russian POWs who died while building the mountain pass during WWI, was an opportunity to draw up plans for bilateral cooperation.

Political relations between the countries are excellent, while economic cooperation is rebounding after being hit by the global economic downturn, the speaker of the Slovenian National Assembly said.

He stressed that there was extensive potential for advancing cooperation in areas such as energy and joint ventures on the markets of third countries as well as in culture and science.

The speaker of the Russian State Duma pointed to the South Stream gas pipeline project as an important point of economic cooperation and the work of the Russian Scientific and Cultural Centre and Forum of Slavic Cultures as proof of excellent cultural cooperation.

Meanwhile, Gantar pointed out that Slovenia was an advocate of eliminating visa requirements between the EU and Russia as as soon as possible, adding that Slovenia would continue to advocate this view in the EU.

Gryzlov was the highest Russian official attending this year's ceremony at the Russian Chapel. Following the ceremony, he held separate meetings with Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk and Prime Minister Borut Pahor in the afternoon.

The meeting with Tuerk held in Kranjska Gora focused on the importance of the Vrsic ceremony, which symbolises the Russian-Slovenian friendship, the president's office said in a statement.

Examining bilateral relations, Tuerk and Gryzlov spoke about the partnership on modernisation signed by the two countries during Tuerk's visit to Russia last year. As part of this, Tuerk pointed to Slovenia's experience in upgrading its judicial system.

The Slovenia president also used the meeting to present his initiative to establish a European path of peace on the former Soca Front (Isonzo Front), a major battle line during WWI along which hundreds of thousands of soldiers from both sides were killed.

Moreover, the pair agreed on the importance of promoting the strategic partnerships between the EU and Russia and NATO and Russia, agreeing that concrete forms of cooperation must be promoted.

The talks between Pahor and Gryzlov meanwhile focused on efforts to boost economic cooperation between the countries. The pair spoke about the importance of upgrading transport links and examined progress in the South Stream gas pipeline project.


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