Slovenia and Russia will develop economic cooperation despite the European Union’s sanctions, Slovenia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Karl Erjavec said on Friday after a regular meeting of the Russian-Slovenian intergovernmental commission on trade-and-economic and scientific-and-technical cooperation.


“We agreed at the talks that despite the fact that the current cooperation conditions are very difficult, we are still optimistic and we are confident we will be able to overcome the difficulties such as the sanctions imposed by the European Union,” he said. “I can note that political cooperation between our countries is at a high level which makes it possible for us to expand economic cooperation as well.”


According to the Slovenian deputy prime minister, trade between the two countries is currently at the 2007 level and stays below 700 million euro a year. “Our trade has somewhat decreased due to the financial and economic crisis. Now we are at the level of 2007,” Erjavec said. “Thanks to the work of the intergovernmental commission in 2013-2014, trade reached a record-breaking figure of 1.5 billion euro a year.”


“Today, our goal is to increase trade to two billion euro. We do have potential for that,” he stressed.


“Historically, Slovenia has good political and economic relations with Russia,” he said, adding that as a European Union member Ljubljana has always stood for an open dialogue with Russia in all spheres, including the economy.