The Slovenia Times

Lavrov Expects Obstacles to South Stream Lifted


At the meeting, which also featured President Borut Pahor, Lavrov expressed hope that the European Commission would soon reestablish a task group for solving the issues related to the gas pipeline.

Asked weather he could confirm Ejravec's claims that the deal between Austria's OMV and Russia's Gazprom on an extension of the pipeline into Austria will have no effect on the project in Slovenia, Lavrov only voiced surprise over doubt about Erjavec's words being expressed in the minister's presence.

He stressed Russia was interested in executing all agreements that have been enshrined in international treaties and other valid documents.

As regards "artificial obstacles", Lavrov said a retroactive application of the EU's third energy package is not consistent with the norms of international law nor with the practice of cooperation among civilised nations.

Commenting on the Ukraine crisis, Russia's top diplomat stressed that the cessation of hostilities is Russia's neighbour was a top priority.

Everything needs to be done to stop the use of force, Lavrov said, expressing conviction that Slovenia is among the EU members who can hear Russia and support this.

He also commented on the upcoming election in Slovenia, expressing belief that continuity of Slovenia's and Russia's friendly cooperation will be secured, since this is in the interest of the Slovenian people.

Erjavec said the talks with Lavrov confirmed the very high level of the political, economic and cultural ties between the two countries.

Announcing a further increase in trade, Erjavec said the intergovernmental commission for economic cooperation will hold a meeting as soon as the new government is formed in Slovenia.

Before the tete-a-tete with Lavrov, the minister said he would acquaint him with Slovenia's positions on Ukraine and South Stream.

Erjavec sees the pipeline project obstacles as being more administrative than political, noting that what was done in terms of legislation with the Nord Stream should also be possible for South Stream.

In the morning Lavrov attended in the company of Erjavec and Pahor the launch of the renovation of a memorial centre for Russian WWII prisoners of war in Maribor.

Before leaving, the Russian minister moreover planned to lay a wreath at the memorial to peace and at the tomb of Soviet POWs at the Pobrežje cemetery and meet Maribor Mayor Andrej Fištravec.


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