Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement at a joint news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of the Republic of Slovenia Anze Logar, Moscow, May 28, 2021
Ladies and gentlemen,
We have held talks with Foreign Minister of the Republic of Slovenia Anze Logar. We welcomed the progress of our bilateral relations in all spheres, specifically the build-up of our political contacts, including at the high and top levels and also between our foreign ministries.
In 2022, we will celebrate 30 years of our diplomatic relations. We have agreed to think about a list of attractive events marking this date.
We have a positive view of our interparliamentary ties, including contacts between the Russian and Slovenian groups of friendship and ties between our countries’ regions. I hope that this year we will be able to hold the Ljubljana Days in Moscow, which was postponed because of the coronavirus.
We called for stepping up the activities of the Russian-Slovenian Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation in light of a decrease in mutual trade in 2020, for understandable reasons.
We agreed to accelerate the preparation of certain additional documents to improve and strengthen our legal framework, in particular when it comes to encouraging the protection of investment and pensions, as well as culture, science, education, sports and youth exchanges.
We expressed mutual satisfaction with our cultural and educational cooperation, including the promotion of the study of the Russian language in Slovenia and the Slovenian language in Russia. We noted the development of contacts between our universities and libraries. I hope that we will be able to resume the mutual exchanges of our performers when the epidemiological situation stabilises. We emphasised the importance of supporting the Forum of Slavic Cultures based in Ljubljana, which was established at our presidents’ initiative in 2004.
We expressed our sincere gratitude to our Slovenian colleagues and leadership for their caring attitude to the Russian war graves, memorials and, in general, to the memory of those who liberated Europe from the Nazi threat. We specifically pointed out the activities of the Maribor WWII International Research Centre. This is an important platform for preventing the spread of Nazi ideas, which is going on in several European countries.
Mr Anze Logar is visiting us only weeks before Slovenia will assume the presidency of the Council of the EU on July 1. We discussed this issue as well. We reaffirmed our deep concern about Brussels’ actions, which are undermining all the mechanisms of Russia-EU ties. We expressed our regret that the EU’s position is based on the principle of the lowest common denominator determined by the aggressive Russophobic minority. The Foreign Minister of Slovenia reaffirmed the EU’s position on such high-profile issues as the Alexey Navalny case and the developments in eastern Ukraine. He also mentioned Crimea and the situation regarding the Republic of Belarus. We have once again provided detailed answers that are based on facts rather than unsubstantiated allegations.
Mr Anze Logar briefed us on Slovenia’s priorities for its EU presidency in the second half of 2021. We have many things in common, such as a common interest in promoting cooperation in cybersecurity and the fight against cybercrime and cyberterrorism, as well as in the fields of ICT and climate change. Healthcare is one more sphere where cooperation is instrumental in dealing with acute problems.
We once again reaffirmed our readiness to normalise relations with the EU, provided they are based on equality, mutual respect and a balance of interests, rather than unilateral actions and preconditions. We also discussed several international matters, including the situation in the Balkans and our cooperation in the UN, the OCSE and the Council of Europe.
In conclusion, I would like to express gratitude to my colleague and to wish him and Slovenia as a whole every success during its presidency of the EU. We are ready to continue working together with you and your staff on the basis of the principles I have mentioned.