Chairman of the Russian parliament Federation Council Sergei Mironov is optimistic about bilateral ties between Slovakia and Russia, and his sentiment is shared by Slovak parliamentary chairman Richard Sulik.
Mironov arrived on a brief visit to Slovakia on Tuesday, and following a meeting with Sulik he underlined the potential for even more intensive co-operation between the two countries, which shared USD 7 billion in trade last year.
Sulik and Mironov discussed various topics, including the much debated broad-gauge railway track through Slovakia, which would streamline trade with Russia and Europe. Sulik informed Mironov that Slovakia supported the project, but would not participate in its financing.
Sulik also said that Slovakia would support the scrapping of the visa requirement between Russia and the EU, but that the issue was basically not in Slovakia’s hands. Both chairmen agreed that Slovakia was an important partner for Russia, and Mironov extended an official invitation to Slovakia to send a delegation to a trade forum in Siberia in September.
Mironov also met with President Ivan Gasparovic, who went as far as to class relations with Russia as one of Slovakia’s foreign policy priorities. Gasparovic said Slovakia’s accession to the EU and NATO structures had not harmed relations between the two countries, while underlining the importance of EU and NATO co-operation with Russia. On the same subject, Mironov said Slovakia was a key link between Russia and the EU and NATO.