Prime Minister Miroslav Cerar: Slovenia for lifting sanctions against Russia, but initiative must come from EU

Slovenia is in favor of lifting anti-Russian sanctions, but the initiative must come from the European Union.

Slovenia is in favor of lifting anti-Russian sanctions, but the initiative must come from the European Union.

"Like Russia, we are for the lifting of sanctions," Slovenian Prime Minister Miroslav Cerar said at a briefing, following a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

"Considering that these sanctions were accepted or initiated not by the Russian side, but by our partners in the European Union, we work on the premise that the beginning of the lifting of those sanctions needs to take place on the EU's initiative," Medvedev said, for his part.

"We discussed the situation, and I once again repeat our position when we say that sanctions never lead to anything good, sanctions hinder development, sanctions hit lawful business interests, both Russian and Slovenian," Medvedev said.

The Slovenian prime minister said the sanctions were imposed in line with certain circumstances and if those circumstances are removed and specific agreements are carried out, then the situation will stabilize, and a decision will be reached with the European partners to lift the sanctions.

Medvedev said Slovenia would "continue to have a balanced, even position in the EU framework, which is what characterizes the republic today."

"The EU is not uniform. There are states with a reasonable, calm position on Russia and the conflict in Ukraine, and there are emotional positions, conditioned by phantom pains," he said.

He also said the main reason for a fall in Russian-Slovenian trade was not the sanctions but the structure of that trade.

"In fact our trade turnover has decreased above all due to changes in the structure of trade turnover and prices for key components of that trade, that is oil and gas. That's not vey good for Russia but it isn't bad for Slovenia as consumers want lower prices. But as experience shows, everything always comes back. And sooner or later prices will go up, and that component will change," he said.

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