Slovenian FM visits Russia to push for economic ties

LJUBLJANA, May 29 (Xinhua) -- Slovenia, with its outgoing Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec traveling in Russia, is trying to make headway in the field of economic cooperation with Moscow.

Trade between Russia and Slovenia stands at 1.7 billion euros (2.3 billion U.S. dollars), while there is also the South Stream project, Erjavec told reporters before his departure for Russia.

Slovenia and Russia signed the Cooperation Agreement for South Stream gas pipeline construction and operation in Slovenia on November 14, 2009.

South Stream is a planned gas pipeline to transport Russian natural gas through the Black Sea to Bulgaria and further to Greece, Italy and Austria.

While doing the preparations for a meeting of the Russian-Slovenian economic cooperation commission, Erjavec said he would also meet with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Friday.

Apart from South Stream project, the scheduled talks will also focus on the crisis in Ukraine.

Slovenia calls for political settlement of Ukraine's crisis. Erjavec warned early this month that heavy economic sanctions against Russia would have "very negative consequences" for Slovenia.

Erjavec and other government ministers have become members of the caretaker cabinet after Slovenian parliament confirmed the resignation of Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek and the end of her cabinet three weeks ago.