Ten Things to Know about Vladimir Putin’s Visit to Slovenia
On Saturday, the Russian President Vladimir Putin will participate in the official ceremony at the Russian Chapel under Vršič. Therefore, a number of highways will be closed.
This is the third official visit of Vladimir Putin to Slovenia. His first visited the country on the sunny side of the Alps in 2001. At that time, Putin had a meeting with the then US President George W. Bush at the town of Brdo pri Kranju. Ten years later, Vladimir Putin again came to Slovenia with an official visit in the status of the prime minister.
Event of Ethical Nature
The Russian leader arrived in Slovenia on the background of a difficult international political situation related to the annexation of the Crimea, so the mere fact of his arrival causes polar assessments. However, as noted in the administration of the president of Slovenia Borut Pahor, the visit is of purely ethical character and is not politically motivated. On the other hand, this year Vladimir Putin has paid an official visit to the two EU member states—Greece and Finland. Besides, the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker visited Moscow a few weeks ago.
The Russian Chapel was built in memory of the Russian Empire soldiers fallen in the World War I, who were buried with avalanche during the construction of road through the Vršič pass. The Chapel was built in 1916. Next to it, there are graves of three soldiers. The locals have been taking care about the Chapel for as long as 100 years. The Russian prisoners of war built the Chapel in memory of their fallen comrades. Since then, the Chapel became a symbol of friendship between the Slovenian and Russian peoples.
To Commemoration—Only With Accreditation
Due to the high guest’s visit, the increased security measures will be taken within the territory of the Russian Chapel. This coming Saturday, all wishing to visit Vršič can do it only if they have an official accreditation, invitation and personal document, while in Kranjska Gora, it will be required to pass through a standard metal detector, the same as in airports.
The Armed Forces of Slovenia Will Also Take Care about the Security Issues
The soldiers of the Armed Forces of Slovenia will take care about the security of the Russian Federation President in addition to the security services of both countries and the police. To this end, the 15th Military Aviation Regiment installed there a mobile short-range radar. The reason for placing a mobile radar station is the need to ensure the fixation of a radar picture for the hard-relief area. Besides, soldiers will also provide support to the police officers in the field of passenger transportation and vehicles escort.
Monuments to the Russian Victims in Slovenia
After participating in a commemoration ceremony at the Russian Chapel, Vladimir Putin will visit the central Žale cemetery of Ljubljana, where a monument to the Russian soldiers who died in Slovenia during the two world wars is installed. The monument is located between the old and the new part of Žale. It consists of eight columns, which symbolizes the eight-year continuation of the two world wars. The columns with a crane at the top of each of them have incuse names of three thousand fallen Russian soldiers.
Despite the visit of Vladimir Putin, the Žale cemetery will not be closed to the public on Saturday.
The Threat of Traffic Jams
At all destinations to be visited by Vladimir Putin, the roads will be temporarily blocked. The Karavanke tunnel will be also closed for several times in both directions. In addition, the traffic will be limited to the Jože Pučnik Airport, on a route section between Jesenice and the Vršič pass as well as in the northern part of the Ljubljana ring road.
Police recommend people not to plan long trips on Saturday and harmonize them with the traffic schedule.
Flight Delays Are Possible at the Jože Pučnik Airport
Changes in the air flight schedules are also possible, but only for a short period of time. From 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm and from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm the access to the airport will be extremely limited or totally closed. “Therefore, we advise passengers to arrive on its territory earlier than usual,” the Ljubljana Airport Authority reported.
Protests Are Announced
The Ukrainians residing in Slovenia will express their protest against Vladimir Putin’s visit. It will be hold in Ljubljana. According to the members of the cultural community Ljubljana-Kyjiv, the Ukrainians, residing in Slovenia, do not want that the occupier, who has caused so much grief and is guilty for the death of thousands of Ukrainians and representatives of other nations, would lay a wreath to the fallen soldiers using historical events in his favour.
Working Dinner and Return to Moscow
Before returning to Moscow, Vladimir Putin will also visit the Brdo Castle, where he first met the then US President George W. Bush in June 2001. There he will attend a dinner with the President of Slovenia Borut Pahor.
A Flight Back Home on Two IL-96 Aircrafts
The Russian President uses a specially equipped Ilyushin IL-96 aircraft known as an “air fortress” for his international flights. For safety reasons, there are two aircrafts of the same type in the President’s Aeroflot. Therefore, it is expected that they will be both involved in the course of a short visit to Slovenia.