08:34 GMT +316 December 2019
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    From right: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov meets with Slovenia's Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec in Moscow

    Slovenia Views Relations With Russia as Positive Despite EU Sanctions - FM

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    Russian-Slovenian relations are warm despite EU sanctions, and Ljubljana wants to further strengthen ties with Moscow, Slovenian Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec said Saturday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The foreign minister noted that Slovenia's NATO and EU memberships was not an obstacle for friendly relations with Russia.

    "Relations between our countries are warm… Despite the fact that the situation is not easy now, EU sanctions are imposed, even in this difficult conditions Slovenia wants to continue cooperation and strengthen ties with Russia," Erjavec said during the ceremony of signing the memorandum on opening Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) affiliate in Slovenia.

    The agreement on creating MSU research educational center based on the Primorska University in the Slovenian city of Koper was signed on November 8, 2016. In December, the Slovenian side suggested opening a MSU affiliate. The branch will provide students with the diplomas of both universities and conduct joint research activities in the field of economic cooperation between Russia and Slovenia.

    Russian side also commented on the statement made by the Foreign Minister, saying that Moscow considers the bilateral relations with Slovenia to be exemplary, and Slovenia, unlike many other Eastern European states, respect the World War II monuments to Soviet soldiers, Igor Kalabuhov, the deputy director of the Fourth European Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, said.

    "We consider the Russia-Slovenia relations to be exemplary, if we are talking about the relations between the two states. Some Eastern European states are destroying the [WWII] monuments, however, Slovenia is keeping these monuments on the highest level and opening new ones," Kalabuhov said at a meeting with Slovenian Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec in Moscow.

    Relations between Moscow and a number of European states, such as Poland and the Baltics, have been strained by a number of issues, including repeated cases of the demolition and dismantling of Soviet monuments in an attempt to distort history and belittle the contribution Soviet soldiers made to the victory over Nazism in World War II.

    On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting with Slovenian counterpart Borut Pahor and the two sides agreed to boost economic relations. After the meeting, Putin told reporters that Ljubljana could become a place for the leaders of Russia and the United States to meet.

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    anti-Russian sanctions, NATO, European Union, Karl Erjavec, Russia, Slovenia
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