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Minister Erjavec opens photo exhibition Wilderness of Russia at the Triglav National Park Centre Bohinj

Stara Fužina, 18 May 2018 – Minister Karl Erjavec and the Director of the Triglav National Park Public Institute, Janez Rakar, opened the photo exhibition Wilderness of Russia at the TNP Bohinj Centre, and were present at the signing of a twinning agreement between Triglav National Park and the Kronotsky Nature Reserve on the Kamchatka Peninsula. The exhibition is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the nature protection system in Russia, and to the year of nature reserves and the year of ecology marked by Russia in 2017.


Minister Erjavec began by welcoming the new cooperation between the two protected areas: the Slovenian Triglav National Park and the Russian Knonotsky Nature Reserve on the Kamchatka Peninsula. The twinning agreement provides an opportunity for cooperation, and an exchange of knowledge and experience. Friendship with the Russian Federation is built and further developed on such initiatives, underlined Minister Erjavec. During the escalation of tensions in international relations, dialogue and communication need to be developed, and the belief in a peaceful settlement and overcoming differences must be maintained. As a member of the European Union and NATO, Slovenia strives for stability and predictability in international relations and, consequently, for the possibilities of globally improving relations with the Russian Federation.


Minister Erjavec underlined that the Slovenian and Russian nations share long years of friendship and cooperation. There are many symbols and evidence of this friendship and cooperation, including the Russian Chapel below Vršič, which President Putin visited on its 100th anniversary. Slovenia is particularly striving to enhance economic cooperation with the Russian Federation. Within this scope, the activities of the Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation between the two countries, which holds regular annual meetings, has been essential; this autumn, Slovenia will be hosting the 15th meeting of the Commission. The Russian Federation is an important economic partner; in 2017, trade between Slovenia and Russia increased by 15%, along with tourism, which increased by 33%.


Successful cooperation has also been established in culture. The current project is the Season of Culture, whereby Slovenian culture is being presented in the Russian Federation and Russian culture in Slovenia. In April, Ljubljana hosted the Slovenian-Russian Cultural Forum, aimed at fostering cultural exchanges. The two countries have also established cooperation in education. As a result, a branch of the Lomonosov Moscow State University was established in Koper last year, in cooperation with the University of Primorska. During the visit by Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in February, a memorandum on establishing an international World War II research centre in Maribor was signed, and the conference Space Technology for Digital Economy was held in Vitanje in April. Dialogue between senior representatives of the two countries always includes vital and the most pressing international issues.

Minister Erjavec underlined that Slovenia would like to continue and upgrade cultural, educational and scientific cooperation and further enhance economic cooperation with the Russian Federation. According to the Minister, the signing of the twinning agreement will help achieve this goal, particularly in education and research, and the new cooperation between Triglav National Park and the Kronotsky Nature Reserve on the Kamchatka Peninsula will pave the way for new people-to-people contacts and new areas of cooperation.