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PODGORICA, February 13. /ITAR-TASS/. Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic expects the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi to be the best in the Olympic history.
“Two Alpine skiers (Tarik Hadzic and Ivana Bulatovic) are representing Montenegro in Sochi,” Vujanovic told Itar-Tass First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman in an exclusive interview.
“Of course, we understand that we are not going to show any impressive results but it is important for us that the Montenegrin flag was raised in Sochi,” Vujanovic confessed.
The Montenegrin president pledged to develop both collective (team) and individual kinds of sport in Montenegro.
“We have an ambition to preserve and develop collective kinds of sport,” Vujanovic said, noting that the Montenegrin water polo team used to be the European champions.
“Our women’s handball team is also European champions. Montenegro’s women’s handball team won a silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London,” Vujanovic stressed. He believed that Montenegro could show good performance in collective or team sports such as water polo, handball, basketball and football.
“We invest in these sports as much as we can, and we are going to invest even more. That is going to be Montenegro’s goal in future,” Vujanovic went on to say, adding that individual sports should also be supported.
“We have many talented athletes in individual sports, and we can open new talents in individual sports despite the fact that our population is small,” Vujanovic said.
“I give lots of support to sport and athletes. I believe that it is very important for Montenegro to promote sport,” Vujanovic said in conclusion.
Montenegro remains one of the most popular tourist destinations for the Russians. The number of Russian tourists visiting Montenegro has almost tripled over the past 5 years from 2008 to 2013.
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.
The full text of interview with the president of Montenegro has been posted on Itar-Tass official website and published in the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily. It will be shown in the Formula of Power program on the Rossiya-24 TV channel.