Participants at an international energy conference in Split today underscored that although Croatia politically belonged to the West, the country must establish good cooperation with Russia. This was one of the key messages heard at the first international EU-Russia Energy Forum.
HDZ MP Miro Kovač, the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee in parliament, said relations between Croatia and Russia were experiencing a thaw and that this trend was expected to continue when President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović visits Russia this fall.
Russian Ambassador Anwar Azimov said that the role of Russia on the Croatian energy market had never been discussed before and called for an objective debate. Azimov said that Russia was prepared to deliver one billion cubic meters of gas annually to Croatia, adding that Croatia could also opt to buy gas from America, but at a price ten to fifteen percent higher.
He said the economic sanctions imposed by the European Union over Ukraine should be lifted because they were costing the bloc, Russia and Croatia billions of euros annually.
One of the organizers of the conference, political science scholar Anđelko Milardović, said there was the need for an exchange of ideas among energy experts due to recent geopolitical shifts on the world stage.
In related news, around a hundred demonstrators gathered today in downtown Split to protest plans to build a thermoelectric power plant on Peruća Lake. The protesters marched in front of the hotel where the international energy conference was taking place, saying that the plant would have a terrible impact on the environment.
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