The Slovenia Times

Russian PM Optimistic about Economic Ties with Slovenia


Speaking to RTV Slovenija's Moscow correspondent Vlasta Jeseničnik, Medvedev noted that trade between the two countries had dropped due to EU sanctions against Russia imposed over the Ukraine crisis.

"I don't know how long these disputes will persist because - I repeat - they were not started by us. We have underscored a number of times that sanctions were pointless and do not lead anywhere and usually do not end with anything.

"They only spoil relations, creating the need for long and tough negotiations," said Medvedev, who will arrive in Slovenia on Saturday evening to attend on Sunday morning a ceremony honouring the Russian POWs who died under an avalanche while building the Vršič mountain pass during World War I.

The Russian prime minister believes that hundreds of years of ties between the Russian and Slovenian nations can help the countries overcome current problems.

The countries should strengthen the existing activities, "bridge temporary problems and expand cooperation", he told the interview, aired on Friday afternoon.

Russian investors are above all interested in industry, energy, the hotel business and tourism, said Medvedev, adding that Slovenian investments focused above all on consumer goods, such as household appliances and pharmaceutical products.

Touching on potential gas pipeline projects, Medvedev said he would advise the Slovenian government to consider the Turkish Stream, an alternative to the South Stream pipeline, the constructions of which was halted last year.

Fuel trade is not a one-way street, Medvedev said, underlining that Russia was just as dependent on Europe as Europe was dependent on Russia.

"The European market is of key importance to us, but this does not mean we will not deliver gas to others. Our supplying gas to China does not diminish the importance of our cooperation with Europe."

In the interview the Russian prime minister also said that it was time for Russia to consolidate its cooperation with China because their ties have not been very strong in the past and because a part of the European market has been closed to Russia.

Touching on the crisis in Ukraine, which he believes is of "artificial nature", Medvedev said that it could be resolved only by Ukrainians themselves. He believes however that Russia, the US and the EU can help.


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