BUDAPEST, May 3 (Itar-Tass) - On Friday, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov will make a working visit to Slovenia, the second leg of his two-day European tour. He is to meet with Slovenia's President Borut Pahor and Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek, and hold talks with Karl Erjavec, Slovenian Vice-Premier and Foreign Minister.
"The forthcoming talks will be a continuation of trust-based and intensive political dialogue between Russia and Slovenia, the dialogue, of which regular top- and high-level contacts are a major component," Russia's Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich emphasized.
The agenda for meetings in Ljubljana provides for an all-round discussion of international matters of current importance, possibilities to deepen Russo-Slovene interaction in various multilateral organizations, primarily at the United Nations Organization, as well as at European forums.
"Slovenia, as a member of the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Alliance, acts in support of those organizations' strategic partnership with Russia," Lukashevich pointed out. "A high degree of understanding with Ljubljana has been achieved on many aspects of our dialogue with the EU and NATO".
Lukashevich said the sides "are to hold detailed talks on European security matters, the theme of visa liberalization between Russia and the EU, and the problem of implementing the 'Third Energy Package' of the EU. The sides are also to devote attention to the situation in the Balkans, primarily in Kosovo and in Bosnia-Hercegovina".
"Russia is one of leading foreign-trading partners of Slovenia," the diplomat pointed out. "Companies from that country operate in more than 60 constituent entities of the Russian Federation". According to Russia's statistical data, Russo-Slovene goods turnover in 2012 grew by 7.2 percent, as compared with that in 2011, to run at over $1.5 billion. The positive tendency continued into the current year: in the January-February period, the growth of reciprocal trade was 7.8 percent. "At the same time, the task of refining the pattern of reciprocal trade remains important, resultant, first of all, of an increase in the share of hi-tech products in bilateral economic contacts," the RF Foreign Ministry spokesman added.
RF Foreign Ministry analysts attach special importance to "giving greater scope to Russian investment presence in the fuel-and-energy sector of Slovenia. This must be promoted by the bilateral project -- the key one as of now -- the construction of the Slovenia segment of the South Stream gas pipeline." "Such a line is supported by the Slovenia leadership," Lukashevich remarked.
"The common Slav roots, the traditionally kindly sentiments entertained by our peoples towards each other furnish a good foundation for intensive cultural-and-humanitarian and scientific and educational exchanges," the Russian diplomat is convinced. He recalled that in June 2004 an international Forum of Slav Cultures with headquarters in Ljubljana was instituted on the initiative of the presidents of the two countries. This non-governmental organization encompasses prominent figures of culture, science, and education from Slav states with a view to bringing their peoples closer together and preserving the common cultural and historical heritage.
"The military memorial component is figuring prominently in Russo-Slovene interaction," Lukashevich went on to say. "People in Russia highly value the Slovenes' careful attitude to the memory of Russian and Soviet servicemen, the graves of whom are in Slovenia's territory". Annual meetings near the military memorial of the First World War times -- the Russian chapel on Vrsic Pass -- with the participation of high-level delegations and members of the general public of the two countries have become a vivid manisfestation of Russo-Slovene friendship.
Sergei Lavrov will attend a ceremony marking the presentation of the "Russian Battalion" documentary film dedicated to the feat of arms of the Soviet servicemen who fought against fascism in the territory of Slovenia.
Bilateral documents are to be signed within the framework of Lavrov's visit.