During Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s visit to Slovenia, the main topic discussed was energy.
Mr. Putin’s meeting with the Slovenian Prime Minister Borut Pahor resulted in signing a treaty on founding a joint venture to project, build and use the Slovenian part of the “South Stream” pipeline.
“This project will bring profit to all its participants and provide Europe with secure supplies of energy,” Mr. Putin said.
Today, the revolts in the Arab world and the Japanese tragedy are making Europe to pin their hopes more on Russian oil and gas than on supplies from those countries. Russia’s ambitious project of the “South Stream” pipeline is becoming more popular in Europe with every passing day.
However, the project still meets some opponents. For some reason, Turkey is against the laying of the pipeline via the seabed in the Turkish part of the Black Sea.
“I don’t think that this can create serious obstacles for the pipeline to be built,” Prime Minister Putin optimistically says.
“We and our partners in Turkey are equally interested in developing some joint large-scale investment projects. During the last visit of Turkey`s Prime Minister to Moscow we were asked to comment on some environmental and technical matters concerning the project. We expect Turkey to finally decide on its participation in the project as soon as we provide all necessary data. Actually, we are ready to work in line with different agendas, and do not rule out the supply of the liquefied natural gas to Europe.”
Experts think the South Stream project will be launched in 2013. The first leg with the capacity of more than 15 billion cubic meters of gas per year is scheduled for the 30th of December, 2015. By the year 2018 the pipeline`s capacity is planned at 63 billion cubic meters.
Mr. Putin stressed that Russia and Slovenia have many other fronts where to cooperate apart from energy:
“We can cooperate in pharmaceutical industry and in machine building. Slovenia signed an agreement on cooperation in machine engineering with our Ulyanovsk district, including the supply of parts for AvtoVaz car maker.”
In spite of the fact that no bilateral documents have been signed in the field of innovative projects, a definite trend towards cooperation is taking shape there. At least, the evidence of this is the gift of Slovenian Prime Minister Borut Pahor to Vladimir Putin –mountain skis of the latest model made by the Slovenian company Elan. All the company’s sporting equipment is made with the use of innovative methods that considerably raise flexibility and other features.
During the press-conference Vladimir Putin answered the journalists’ question about possible differences of the Russian President’s and the Russian Prime Minister’s view of the Libyan problem:
“Our president determines the country’s foreign policy and there can be no double vision there. He and I are close friends and understand each other very well. As for the problem itself, we should first of all think about the growing number of victims. Those who are responsible for this tragedy should also be thinking about it and praying for their own souls”.
Tomorrow, on the 23rd of March, the Russian Prime Minister will leave Ljubljana for Belgrade. This will be Putin’s second visit to Serbia since June 2001 when he visited that country in the capacity of the Russian president. The talks with the Serbian leaders will touch upon international security problems, in particular, the situation in Kosovo and Libya.
The two prime ministers also signed an intergovernmental agreement to establish centers of science and culture, as well as a memorandum on cooperation in agriculture.