The Russian Ambassador inteview about the relations between Russia and Croatia in 2015.
Dr. Robert Markaryan, Russian Ambassador in Croatia, talks about the sanctions of the European Union in Russia, continuing conflict in Ukraine, the abolition of the South Stream project, the tourist season 2015 and about the future relations between Russia and Croatia in 2015.
How did sanctions affected the relations between Russia and Croatia?
There was not a lot of impact on Croatia- Russian relations. This year we will make a turnover of 1 billion and $ 500 000 – this is not a big number, but not bad. Russia is the fifth or sixth Croatian economic partner.
Let me point up the cultural relations between Russia and Croatia. They were very successful. In the fall of 2013, Russia participated in the famous music festival Varaždin Baroque Evenings for the first time. I sat with President Ivo Josipovic and I was very pleased when he said that the Russian Association was one of the best.
Cultural relations will be even better, when we open the Russian–Croatian Cultural Centre in Zagreb.
Is there an anti-Russian propaganda in Croatia?
Sadly, the Croatian media are very biased when when publishing articles on the crisis in Ukraine. I understand that most of the articles were taken from the western editions, but I think that they could write more objectively. But all in all, I do not think that all the Croatian media are in anti-Russian mood.
My last interview in Jutarnji List, which has caused a lot of comments, he was a pure misunderstanding and dishonest work of journalists. The journalist made up aggressive title of the article, which I never told. My suggestion title was “How do we work together to solve sanctions“. Jutarnji list is certainly the most criticized Russia of all Croatian media.
Does the US affect on the situation around the shares of INA and MOL?
US strongly affects Croatia and Hungary because of the crisis in Ukraine. Americans do not hide it. Proof of this is that two members of the State Department recently visited Croatia to discuss the energy and the recent visit of US Senator Christopher Murphy. US want to make a pressure on Zagreb so they could turn them away from energy and defense cooperation with Russia. Likewise, the United States has affected the situation in Bulgaria with South Stream.
I have a feeling that everyone thinks that Gazprom only fantasizes about obtaining these shares. But this is not true, Croats and Hungarians have a greater interest than Gazprom, Gazprom has other priorities.
Is there a plan of Russian investments in Croatia in 2015?
As for investments in 2015, I can not say anything positive. Unfortunately, there will not be a large investment, now is not a good economic situation and no major joint strategic projects. But Sberbank and Lukoil will continue to work as before without any problems.
Can you give some tips Croatian hotels?
I have some advice – to increase the tourist season! It is to short and it could last for an entire year. I’m sure that Russians would like Croatia in winter.
As far as medical tourism, Croatian clinics need more lobbying, find partners in Russia, because the quality of Croatian medicine is very high and the prices for some services are much lower. I was in Varaždin Spa for a few days, and we really liked it, I think it is promising for Croatia.
Source: Russia Beyond The Headlines
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