The meeting focused on the future development of cooperation between Russia and Slovenia in trade, the economy and investment, in particular in the framework of the South Stream project.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good evening, Mr Prime Minister, friends. I am very happy to see you.
We have two anniversaries this year: the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and the 10th anniversary of our basic agreement. Overall, we are satisfied with the development of our bilateral economic ties, and investment volumes continue to grow, although trade clearly needs to be diversified.
Tomorrow you will be able to discuss this with the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and to review it in some more detail. I am very pleased that we have the opportunity to start this discussion tonight.
Welcome! We are very happy to see you.
Prime Minister of Slovenia Janez Jansa (retranslated): Mr President, thank you for the warm welcome. I am happy to be here again.
We have agreed that the target for Slovenian-Russian cooperation in the economy is $1 billion in trade. We have reached this goal in the past six years and have gone even further: mutual investment in both our economies have doubled and we have strengthened ties in various other fields ranging from culture to tourism.
You have mentioned our two anniversaries. The Russian chapel at the Vrsic Pass is a symbol of cooperation between our two nations. We are preparing for the celebrations of the 100th anniversary, which is approaching, and we would like to mark this momentous event together.
I also thank you for the positive feedback we have received on the initiative of introducing additional measures to the Convention on the Prevention [and Punishment of the Crime] of Genocide.
The government delegation’s agenda during this visit will focus mostly on economic contacts that are so important for Slovenia, which is part of the European Union, given that we are now in a period of crisis.
I am particularly pleased that during this visit the final investment decision on the South Stream project will be also signed. It is a vitally important project for Slovenia and a number of countries in our region. We firmly believe that Europe needs to diversify not only its energy sources, but also the transportation routes.
I am particularly pleased that the economic delegation which arrived with me includes representatives of many businesses, including in the financial and services sectors, whose scope of activities stretches beyond the classical forms of cooperation aimed at the turnover. I think this will be the next step in our cooperation.