The South Stream gas pipeline project opens vast opportunities for the development of Slovenia’s economy, Slovenian Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek told the annual meetings between Slovenian and Russian general public and politicians near the Russian chapel at the Vrsic Pass in northwestern Slovenia on Sunday. “The Russian Federation is one of Slovenia’s most important trade and economic partners,” she said. “Economic cooperation is very diversified thanks to effective work of the intergovernmental commission on trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation.” The Slovenian prime minister expressed satisfaction with the level of bilateral relations with Russia in all areas. Bratusek noted that taking part in the meetings were representatives of Russia’s government, Federation Council and State Duma. She assured that she would do her utmost to develop relations and strengthen friendly ties between Slovenia and Russia. The chapel at the height of around 1,000 meters was built by Russian prisoners of war in 1916 to commemorate their 300 comrades, who were buried under an avalanche while building a road through the Vrsic Pass. The first such meetings between the two countries’ general public and politicians took place 21 years ago.