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PODGORICA, February 13. /ITAR-TASS/. The number of Russian tourists visiting Montenegro has almost tripled over the past 5 years from 2008 to 2013, according to Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic who gave an exclusive interview to Itar-Tass First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman.
Almost 300,000 Russians visited the Balkan nation last year.
“I am very happy that more and more tourists are discovering the northern parts of Montenegro alongside with its coast,” the Montenegrin president said, adding Montenegro should do more to increase tourist flows from Russia.
“We need to develop more active contacts with Russian regions telling more about Montenegro’s opportunities in tourism,” he emphasized.
Vujanovic said he was happy that Russia could also offer something in the sphere of tourism. “Russia is a gem of world culture, and it is good that the citizens of Montenegro want to learn more about it,” Vujanovic went on to say. He added that the Montenegrins had always perceived Russians as friends and would do their best to give them a hearty welcome.
“Apparently, our friends from Russia have very great benevolence to us and a desire to visit Montenegro for a vacation. Besides, our traditional historical ties may grow into a desire of our citizens to visit Russia to get acquainted with its rich culture and history,” the Montenegrin president said.
He also stressed the importance of developing cultural ties between Montenegro and Russia.
“I hope that we are going to open a Russian cultural center, a place that will promote the values of cultural cooperation between Russia and Montenegro, here in 2015 or 2016 the latest,” Vujanovic said.
“We also expect our embassy in Russia to be more active in promoting Montenegrin culture and our ties, especially considering the historical mutual relations that exist between our states,” the Montenegrin president went on to say.
He thanked Russia for recognizing Montenegro and establishing diplomatic relations with the country in 2006 in less than a month after a referendum on Montenegro’s independence.
“We in Montenegro are trying to do our best to improve our cooperation,” Vujanovic stressed, commenting on the most recent history in relations between Russia and Montenegro.