The Slovenia Times

Slovenia strenghtening economic relations with Russia


Janša, who has started a two-day working visit to Russia, let Russian investors know through different channels that they were welcome in Slovenia, not only in the field of energy but also in services - financial as well as other types of services.

"Slovenia has good experience with investments from Russia," Janša said in a statement for the Slovenian media.

Janša is visiting Russia with a business delegation, as the country is seen as a major market for the Slovenian economy, one that is still growing.

"The trade of goods and services as well as economic investment in both countries is on the increase and is bigger than before the crisis," Janša said.

He explained that he had received assurances from the Russian side that the Slovenian investments in Russia were safe and that the Slovenian side was trying to convince the Russian government and investors that the government will strive to improve Slovenia's business environment in the coming months.

Putin expressed satisfaction with the development of bilateral ties in the meeting with Janša, pointing out that mutual investments were growing as well. He noted that mutual trade should also be diversified.

Before meeting Putin, Janša also held talks with Alexei Miller, the boss of Russian gas company Gazprom, since a final investment decision will be taken on Tuesday regarding the construction of the Slovenian part of the South Stream gas pipeline.

"We discussed the conclusion of this relatively long path leading to tomorrow's signing of the final investment decision. This is a kind of final crown in this story, which we are all happy about. As the negotiators informed me, both sides were tough but fair in the negotiations," the prime minister explained.

Asked about possible dissatisfaction of Brussels with South Stream, Janša said that the Nabucco pipeline was none-existent.

"Nabucco is only drawn on a piece of paper with many question marks, while South Stream is more or less a fact, because it has its sources and at the end of the day also its buyers."

He pointed out that the central and eastern Europe also had the right to a safe energy supply.

"Slovenia's position is that not only diversification of sources is important but also diversification of routes," he said, adding that Slovenia had studied EU regulations in this field very carefully before entering the project.

"What Slovenia is signing is in accordance both with the third energy package and other energy regulations," Janša asserted.

The Slovenian section of South Stream will largely run on the exiting route while a part of it will be new. Janša also reiterated that Slovenia would benefit from the transit. "It's the money that Slovenia will get for its geostrategic location and that it will then invest into other infrastructural or other useful investments."

After the meeting with Putin, Janša addressed Slovenian business representatives Moscow. He tanked to all those who increased imports and profit on the Russian market in the time of crisis.

"On our part we will do everything in our power to maybe soothe some things out to make your work a bit easier," he said.

Janša will meet his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev and address a Russian-Slovenian business conference on Tuesday. He is accompanied by about 40-strong business delegation.


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