The Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, Janez Janša, today met with the Deputy Chairman of the Council of the Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Yury Leonidovich Vorobiev, after a memorial ceremony at the Russian Chapel under Vršič Pass.

They shared the view that this year bears particular importance for the relations between the two countries as it marks the 20th anniversary of mutual diplomatic relations. Deputy Chairman Vorobiev thanked Prime Minister Janša for attending the memorial ceremony saying that the Russian Federation was highly honoured by his presence.

Prime Minister Janša expressed his satisfaction that joint projects implemented within the business sector, defence, culture, education, science and other areas have been developing successfully. Prime Minister Janša and Deputy Chairman Vorobiev agreed that good bilateral cooperation is also manifested through twelve contractual and seven other documents, which are currently being drafted and are to expand the existing contractual basis for mutual cooperation.

Prime Minister Janša also emphasised that in the areas of trade in goods and direct investment Russia was an important partner for Slovenia as the trade between the two countries exceeded EUR 1.1 billion, and foreign direct investment amounted to EUR 90 million in 2011. Mr Janša and Mr Vorobiev assessed that the construction of the South Stream pipeline presents a great opportunity and added values to business investments. On this occasion, Prime Minister Janša congratulated Deputy Chairman Vorobiev on Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation and expressed his belief that this would also contribute to the strengthening of cooperation.

They drew attention to good cooperation between independent institutions, e.g. the Constitutional Courts, and also highlighted increasing cooperation in the area of culture within the Forum of Slavic Cultures. Prime Minister Janša mentioned that Slovenia has been considering the possibility to open a Slovenian Cultural and Scientific Centre in Moscow, which would significantly contribute to improving the existing cultural and scientific collaboration between the two countries.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Prime Minister Janša said that we would welcome new investment from Russia and would also want to expand cooperation beyond current areas of medicinal and energy products; he added that Slovenia would make further efforts to create the most conducive environment for foreign investment to date. Prime Minister Janša and Vorobiev agreed that there is untapped potential for cooperation that can be further developed.