Today Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with Prime Minister ofSlovenia Janez Drnovsek at his Black Sea residence in Sochi, thepresidential press service reported. The Slovenian premier came to Russiawith an official visit. The two countries are mutually interested in the development of trade andeconomic ties, whose potential is estimated at $1bn a year. In 2000 theRussian-Slovakian trading volume increased 50 percent as compared to 1999and reached about $450m. In 2001 the upward trend in foreign trade withSlovenia remained in place. The trading volume grew 40 percent to $560mlast year. Energy products and commodities account for the greatest part ofRussia's export. Russia mainly imports medicines, various components forthe pharmaceutical industry, varnish and paints, electronic devices forhard-line telephone services, accumulators, rolled stock, plain steel,household equipment and furniture from Slovenia. The Russian-Slovenian intergovernmental commission, which is scheduled tomeet this fall, searches for the up-to-date formats of mutually beneficialcooperation such as joint ventures, the processing of Russia's rawmaterials (oil, gas and ferrous metals) by Slovenian enterprises withsubsequent sales-sharing, joint projects in the field of industrialengineering, banking, etc. The implementation of a number of fuel andenergy projects will open additional cooperation opportunities for Russiaand Slovenia. However Russia will need to establish an efficient settlementmechanism and diversify its exports. .