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BANJALUKA, September 14 /SRNA/ - Governor of Saint Petersburg Georgy Poltavchenko stated Friday in Banjaluka it was very significant that the friendly ties between Republika Srpska and Saint Petersburg resulted in concrete cooperation, especially in the development of trade and economic relations.


Addressing the forum “Strategic Dialogue on Cooperation between St Petersburg and Republika Srpska,” Poltavchenko stressed the importance of the import of high-quality agricultural products into the Russian Federation from Republika Srpska.

"Today we can say that Russian consumers happily eat fruit from Republika Srpska. We will also consider importing other products including meat because our people have a very positive attitude towards the products from ex-Yugoslavia, especially from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska," he said.

The Russian official mentioned a possibility of prosperous cooperation in the area of housing and utilities, emphasising that Saint Petersburg was currently resolving the problem of regulating water canals, in which area it was able to offer brand new technologies to Republika Srpska.

"We also find interesting the cooperation we will have in information technologies, such as the usage of online health records. We have adopted this new system fully and have excellent results, primarily as regards improved efficiency of physicians,” said Poltavchenko.

Poltavchenko also stressed the announced signing of an agreement to finish the construction of cascade hydropower plants on the Vrbas River, a project in which the Saint Petersburg Rakurs-Engineering will take part, a company with extensive experience and references in this area.

"There are also issues related to traffic and system of a so-called safe city and provision of security to citizens in buildings with increased risk and many other things. Saint Petersburg is actively developing in this sense and we can offer appropriate software and hardware to Banjaluka,” he said.

Poltavchenko noted that significant cooperation in the humanitarian sector was significant for Srpska and St Petersburg, and announced the presence of top experts from the Russian city at the opening of the North Wing of the University Clinical Centre in Banjaluka.

He added that Russian surgical oncologists will hold master workshops in Srpska and perform a few extremely complex operations on cancer patients.

"In addition, we are trying to provide practical assistance to the people of Srpska who are in need of technological achievements in medicine and we have recently treated two children from Srpska. We intend to continue this practice since Saint Petersburg offers great opportunities and resources in this area,” stated Poltavchenko.

He also emphasised a well developed cultural cooperation, given that the two nations are connected by language similarities and spiritual tradition.

Poltavchenko thanked Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik for supporting the forum “Saint Petersburg and the Slavic World” which annually gathers guests from the Slavic countries and discusses current issues in an effort to preserve the tradition and spiritual roots.

"We are working on tourism development, considering further development of trade, including trade in small craft production, and many other issues in which we can establish the cooperation,” he said.

Poltavchenko noted that the Saint Petersburg delegation had visited Srpska several times where they felt like home.

"We are also tied by friendly and well-intentioned relations and those relations date back to our ancestors; we owe it to their Slavic brotherhood. We have different yet common cultures, spiritual roots and it is no wonder that the regions in the Russian Federation including Saint Petersburg cooperate with Republika Srpska with great pleasure,” stated Poltavchenko. /end/ds