Monday, 24 January 2022

Notions of 'Spheres of Influence' Have No Place in 21st Century, EU Says

ZAGREB, 24 Jan 2022 - EU foreign ministers said on Monday that notions of "spheres of interest" had no place in the 21st century and condemned Russia's threats against Ukraine, threatening Moscow with "massive consequences" if it attacks Ukraine.

"Notions of 'spheres of influence' have no place in the 21st century," the Council said in conclusions on the European security situation.

EU foreign ministers met in Brussels today and the main topic was the tense situation on Ukrainian borders, where Russia has amassed tens of thousands of troops.

"The Council condemns Russia’s continued aggressive actions and threats against Ukraine, and calls on Russia to de-escalate, to abide by international law and to engage constructively in dialogue through the established international mechanisms," the conclusions say, adding that "any further military aggression by Russia against Ukraine will have massive consequences and severe costs."

That "includes a wide array of sectoral and individual restrictive measures that would be adopted in coordination with partners."

Due to the situation in Ukraine, some countries have announced downsizing their diplomatic missions and advised against travel there.

Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said Croatia was monitoring the situation and that for now there was no reasons to withdraw diplomats.

"The EU High Representative for the foreign and security policy, Josep Borrell, has said that for now there is no reason to evacuate. Croatia will follow the situation and the EU's position. There might be a change, but for now the member states won't withdraw their diplomats," he said.

Friday, 3 December 2021

Croatia One of Russia's main EU Partners, Says Patrushev

ZAGREB, 3 Dec 2021 - Russian Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev said on Friday that Croatia was one of Russia's "fundamental partners in the EU."

Speaking after the tenth session of the intergovernmental Croatian-Russian commission for economic, scientific and technical cooperation, Patrushev said he was glad that despite the pandemic, the Croatian and Russian sides were meeting face to face.

He said the working group's work was successful, that a broad dialogue was held, and that he saw there were a number of cooperation areas.

Patrushev said Russia and Croatia cooperated the most in energy, infrastructure, healthcare, and education, and that the potential to cooperate in agriculture was high.

This year's trade doubled on the preceding period, so we can conclude that the potential for advancing relations is big, he said.

Both sides are interested in agriculture, he said, expecting a higher volume of trade in this field.

Patrushev said they also talked about possible cooperation in fighting the pandemic and agreed that the relevant state institutions should work on the mutual recognition of vaccination certificates.

Croatian Economy Minister Tomislav Ćorić said the meeting focused on bilateral relations as well as on topics of concern for the commission. He added that economic cooperation was good and had the potential to grow.

He said they talked about intensifying trade and that next year, on the 30th anniversary of its independence, Croatia would organise a large economic forum in Russia.

He voiced confidence that there will be opportunity to discuss visits planned for next year, including that of Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman to his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in January.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated politics page.

Saturday, 11 September 2021

Croatian Company Holosys' Remote Reading Devices Impresses Russians

September the 11th, 2021 - The Croatian company Holosys develops and manufactures advanced electrical devices which are based on NB-IOT (narrowband Internet of Things) for the remote reading of energy consumption. They're present in as many as fifty countries around the world.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, as of this week, they have added the largest country in the world - Russia - to their already impressive list of their export markets. Namely, the Croatian company Holosys performed at the EcwaTech 2021 fair at the beginning of the week, the largest event in the water industry in Russia, and clearly caught many an eye.

“It was our first step into this enormous market and we're pleased to be able to present our solutions to all visitors, both from Russia and abroad. We've established contact with numerous utility companies and system integrators from this part of the world and we're continuing with more talks about specific projects. As always, making new contacts means new learning opportunities and opportunities for growth,'' they said from Holosys.

As Tomislav Lekic, CEO of the Croatian company Holosys, explained, they're entering the Russian market with new technology that is beginning to be applied in various economic sectors, and interest is growing due to a number of advantages - better signal coverage, reliable data delivery, savings for utilities and companies. Holosys independently develops, manufactures and supplies the NB-IoT Bridge and the NB-IoT Pulse Reader P1-N, modules that enable connection to the telecom operator's NB-IoT networks.

The company has been doing business with numerous companies and utility companies across Croatia for fifteen years now, while worldwide they work with established manufacturers of telemetry equipment, system integrators and utility companies. Their solutions are in more than 500,000 measures of water and gas consumption in the world.

All these experiences are built into the development and improvement of the NB IoT system, and according to Director Lekic, the Croatian company Holosys' NB-IoT device can connect up to five metres at once, so less equipment is needed to establish a stable transmission of readings.

''The ideal scenario for the implementation of the solution includes a module that connects to the consumption measures, and which connects to the mobile network through which it sends the collected data. The data is then displayed via software and can be analysed at a remote location.

The devices are extremely durable and can operate at temperatures from -20 to +80 degrees Celsius, the battery lasts up to ten years, depending on the frequency of sending the consumption data, and the devices have IP68 protection against water penetration,'' explained Lekic.

They further explained from the Croatian company Holosys that utilities and companies get a long-term and reliable solution for secure data transfer, and it is possible to implement it where the standard mobile signal fails to reach, so it is ideal for rural areas and underground infrastructure. Implementation, they claim, is simple, and as the infrastructure is significantly simplified, meaning that maintenance costs are kept low.

''With the implementation of NB-IoT, utility companies gain access to the real-time monitoring of their distribution network, and in the event of a breakdown or leak, they can react much faster and as such work to reduce losses. They also get the infrastructure through which end users can access an application that sounds an alarm in the event of a pipe burst and provides information on excessive customer consumption,'' concluded the director.

For more, make sure to check out Made in Croatia.

Monday, 19 July 2021

Russian Music Television Crew Visiting Two Croatian Adriatic Counties

ZAGREB, 19 July 2021 - A Russian MUZ TV music channel crew is visiting Split-Dalmatia and Šibenik-Knin counties until 23 July to film a special program on tourist experience and attractions in the two Adriatic regions, the Croatian Tourism Board (HTZ) said on Monday.  

The visit was organized by the HTZ with the support of the tourism boards of the two counties. The Russian crew will visit Split, Šibenik, Omiš, Mount Biokovo, Brač island, Kornati National Park, Krka National Park and Skradin.

The footage will be shown in the Independent Traveller (Otpusk bez putevki) show, which is watched by more than two million people per episode. The program will also be available on MUZ TV's YouTube channel, the HTZ said.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Russia's National Carrier Reintroduces Daily Dubrovnik-Moscow Flight

ZAGREB, 3 June 2021 - A plane of Russia's national carrier Aeroflot carrying 86 passengers landed at Dubrovnik Airport on Tuesday evening, marking the reintroduction of a daily direct flight between the south of Croatia and Moscow after seven years.

Dubrovnik Airport director Frano Luetić said he expected that the interest of Russians would bring even better flight occupancy.

"If the situation with the pandemic continues to improve, I expect July and August will be excellent," Luetić said, adding that the British market, which accounted for 30% of Dubrovnik Airport's traffic, is yet to reopen.

A COVID antigen and PCR testing facility has opened at Dubrovnik Airport, available to all citizens. A business aviation terminal is another novelty, and it is the most modern in Croatia.

"Last year, we had a very good connection in that segment, and this year we expect an even better one. Those are high-paying guests that spend their holidays on yachts on the Adriatic coast. The terminal is very modern, with passport control, customs control, catering, and VIP lounges," Luetić said.

Dubrovnik Tourist Board director Ana Hrnić said that Dubrovnik and Croatia were very interesting to Russian tourists.

"Last week, a popular tourist show was filmed here, so we expect further growth in interest," said Hrnić, who expects tourism turnover will be significantly better after 15 June.

Also, as of 10 June, Russia will include Croatia on the list of epidemiologically safe countries.

This year, over 500 flights will be connecting Russia and Croatia from June to September, and Croatia joining the epidemiological "green zone" opens the possibility of charter flights.

In addition to Dubrovnik, Aeroflot will connect Moscow with Pula, Split, and Zagreb during the season.

Croatia has renewed the issuance of tourist visas for Russian citizens, and there is currently great interest in holidays in Croatia on the Russian market.

According to data from the eVisitor system, this year visitors from Russia have generated about 30,000 overnight stays, or 48% more than in the same period last year.

 Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Croatia and Russia Sign Programme for Boosting Cultural Cooperation

ZAGREB, Dec 16, 2020 - Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Croatian Culture and Media Minister Nina Obuljen Korzinek signed on Wednesday the sixth Programme of Cooperation in the Field of Culture for the 2020-2022 period, the Croatian Ministry of Culture and Media said.

The program was signed as part of the Russian Foreign Minister's official visit to Croatia, and it encourages exchange and cooperation between artists, cultural and art institutions, and associations, as well as direct cooperation between cultural institutions of mutual interest, the MKM said.

Mutual cooperation, the Ministry said, encompasses a wide range of activities related to museums, galleries, performing arts, literature, and publishing, as well as the existing high level of cooperation in the area of audiovisual activities.

The Ministry recalled that in the domain of cultural heritage the cooperation was especially pronounced between the Underwater Research Centre of the Russian Geographical Society, the Lomonosov Moscow State University Marine Research Centre, and the International Centre for Underwater Archaeology in Zadar, a UNESCO Category II Centre.

Signing the Programme will improve, the Ministry said, the existing cooperation between organizations, artists, and experts.

In addition to a good and meaningful bilateral cooperation between the two countries, which is achieved through direct contact between cultural institutions and artists working in Croatia and Russia, the cooperation within international platforms will also continue, the Ministry of Culture and Media said.

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Russia and Croatia to Connect - Russian Companies Introduce New Lines

Despite the fact that Croatia's neighbour to the south, Montenegro, allows Russian citizens visa-free access to holiday in their country, the need for Russian citizens to obtain a visa to enter Croatia hasn't watered down their desire to visit the country, and some brand new connections between Russia and Croatia are set to fly in 2020.

As Lucija Spiljak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 5th of March, 2020, Russia and Croatia will be connected by Aeroflot airlines and TUI Russia, which are introducing a new charter flight to Croatia for the very first time this year.

Russian airline Utair will also introduce a new flight schedule as of June 2020 that will connect Moscow and the Dalmatian city of Split. The first flight is scheduled for June the 2nd, 2020, from Moscow's Vnukovo Airport, and it will operate twice per week - on Tuesdays and Wednesdays - until the end of September, with 168 seats on offer on a Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

"This is an excellent opportunity for Dalmatia, as well as for the entire Croatian tourism sector to further position themselves on the important Russian market," said Kristjan Stanicic, director of the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ).

It's worth mentioning that this is the third airline to connect these locations between Russia and Croatia, As mentioned, in addition to the regular Utair flight, Moscow and Split will be connected by the airlines Aeroflot and TUI Russia during 2020.

In addition to the above, this year, Moscow will boast connections with the Croatian capital of Zagreb and the popular Istrian city of Pula, and St. Petersburg will also be connected with the City of Zagreb.

For more on flights to Croatia and connections between Russia and Croatia, follow our dedicated travel page.

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Days of Croatian Tourism Ignites Russian Interest for Luxury Villas

It is no secret that Russian tourists love visiting Croatia, and the current Days of Croatian Tourism being held in Moscow has done nothing but confirm the enormous amount of interest on the Russian market for what Croatia has to boast of in its rich tourist offer.

As Glas Istre/Silva Bodlaj Ivasic writes on the 1st of February, 2020, the Croatian National Tourist Board's (HTZ) representative office in the popular Russian city of Moscow organised the Days of Croatian Tourism event, at which representatives of numerous Croatian tourism companies, including Uniline from Pula, had the opportunity to connect with potential partners from Russia and bring Croatia closer to them as a top destination.

Days of Croatian Tourism, organised by the Croatian National Tourist Board, took place in Moscow on Thursday. Representatives of the Croatian tourism sector had the opportunity to learn more about the specifics of the Russian market and to better connect with potential partners from Russia. The Croatian delegation in Moscow was led by Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli, Assistant Minister Tonci Glavina and the director of the Croatian Tourist, Board Kristijan Stanicic, hosted by the director of the HTZ Representative Office in Russia - Rajko Ruzicka.

Representatives of Uniline, a leading destination management company in Croatia and the region were some of Croatia's representatives, including Dario Guljelmovic, sales and production manager at Uniline, and key account manager Marko Borscak.

"The Russian market is huge and we really recognise its great potential. At one place, we were able to meet a number of potential associates. On the Russian side, more than 100 entities from the tourism sector visited Days of Croatian Tourism. The event was also visited by the Russian Minister of Tourism, various officials, interested parties from the F&B sector and many others,'' stated Dario Guljelmovic.

The Russian market is specific in that it doesn't actually include the middle class, unlike on more western markets. When it comes to Russia, they're either extremely high paying guests, or the total opposite.

From a Russian perspective, Croatia is an extremely interesting destination, especially among clients seeking top-notch service and with a desire to stay in five or four star hotels. The biggest obstacle to strengthening cooperation with Russian partners is the current visa regime. With the entry of Croatia into the European Union, guests from Russia required a visa to enter the country. As a positive example of addressing this obstacle, Guljelmovic points to 2018's FIFA World Cup held in Russia, when it was relatively easy for fans with tickets to obtain the necessary visas to enter.

Guests from Russia are excellent consumers with typically very high paying power. In addition to classic tourism, there is great potential in health tourism, and they are interested in Croatian spas. Guljelmovic points out that there is great interest in staying in villas in the interior of the region of Istria. Recently, this type of tourism has become somewhat of a trend, and in Russia, it's especially emphasised. Russian guests appear most interested in top quality accommodation, they want villas in amazing locations, with swimming pools and other amenities included.

"At Uniline, we can see great potential on the Russian market and we're working intensively on this. Russians, just like the Croats, prefer to book later and are only now completing brochures for the new season, so this was an ideal time to host a manifestation such as Days of Croatian Tourism,'' concludes Guljelmovic.

Make sure to follow our travel page for much more.

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Russia Ready to Invest Several Billion Euros into Croatia, With Conditions

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 1st of July, 2019, Moscow alone has a budget of 40 billion euros, and it would be an idiotic move by Croatia to not take advantage of the potential this could bring to the country.

''Nobody has the power to invest as much into Croatia as Russia has, neither the European Union nor the United States of America, but in order for the Russians to actually put their money where their mouths are and invest in Croatia, there are preconditions that Croatia must meet,'' stated the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Croatia, Anvar Azimov, on Monday during the Zagreb-Moscow economic forum.

At the forum held during the "Moscow Days in Zagreb" event, Azimov said that Russia was ready to invest several billion euros into Croatia, but Croatia must show interest and create the proper preconditions for these investments.

He pointed out that the relations between the country and Russia are stable and friendly. A good political dialogue has been established, and the links between the two countries are now excellent in many segments, but intergovernmental economic cooperation hasn't been following that good relationship, at least according to Azimov.

"The trade and the economy [between Croatia and Russia] are weak, I'm not satisfied with that as an ambassador, and I'm also not happy that Russian business hasn't recognised the opportunities offered to them in Croatia," said the Russian ambassador to Croatia.

He also stated that, according to his statistics, which don't actually match up with the statistics from here, Russia exported 700 million euros worth of gas to Croatia last year, and that Russian gas is the most favourable for the local market.

''The LNG Terminal isn't competition to us," he added.

Regarding the sanctions imposed on Russia, Azimov said that the Russians are losing oit because of them, but the West, as well as Croatian partners, lost three to four times more to those sanctions than Russia did. Azimov stressed that Russia is interested in renewing its ties with both the US and the EU.

"We'd like to be in harmony with our neighbors, and the EU is our neighbour," said the ambassador.

As for Croatia, he said that there should be no fear of geopolitical plans, and that the Russians do want to invest here. He stated that just Moscow alone has a budget of 30 billion euros, and that this country should utilise that massive potential. His wish is also for the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, to soon come to visit officially.

Since 1993 to the end of the third quarter last year, Russia has invested 410.9 million euros in Croatia. At the same time, 98.3 million euros was invested by Croatia into Russia.

The President of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), Luka Burilović, is pleased with the economic cooperation between Croatia and Russia, noting that it still isn't at the level it was at until 2014 when sanctions were initially imposed on Russia, after which economic trade unfortunately almost halved.

"We had a continuation of growth until two or three years ago, we had stabilised economic relations, and we're slowly returning to the level it was at before 2014. Traditionally, we're very prone to the Russian market and we know it well, our companies have been operating there for many years, in Moscow alone we have twenty registered Croatian companies, and of course in many other regions over there, too. The Croatian Chamber of Commerce is institutionally working to strengthen economic relations with the Russians and there's a lot of potential to strengthen these relations, and I believe that will be seen in the coming years,'' Burilović said.

Last year, more than 122,000 Russian tourists visited Croatia, which is three percent more than were recorded in the previous year, but at the same time, there was a drop in overnight stays made by Russians, by two percent.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for more information on relations between Croatia and Russia and much, much more.

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Croatian Companies More and More Prevalent on Russian Market

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Sergej Novosel Vuckovic writes on the 6th of June, 2019, the economic cooperation between the Republic of Croatia and Russia is growing, with more Croatian companies appearing on the Russian market, and with that, more and more Russian tourists are coming to Croatia.

It's easily seen that there has been significant growth in terms of Croatia's economic cooperation with Russia, and there are now more and more Russian tourists visiting the country, and according to the experience of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce's (HGK) Moscow office, more and more Croatian companies and entrepreneurs are looking for opportunities on the large Russian market, at least according to HGK's Luka Burilović who made the statement from St. Petersburg, where the Croatian Chamber of Commerce's delegation led by Economy Minister Darko Horvat participated in the International Economic Forum SPIEF recently.

The gathering is considered as one of the world's largest business meeting venues for business interests in Russia and on developing markets.

In the name of HGK, Burilović held a meeting with Russia's Sergej Čerjomin, on further possible economic cooperation and the organisation of the forums of Croatian and Moscow companies on July the 1st.

The worth of trade in goods between Croatia and Russia currently stands at about three billion dollars, but the goal is to reach and eventually surpass the former 3.4 billion dollar amount. Some Croatian companies are major exporters to Russia, such as AD Plastik and Belupo, which have both been recently awarded as the best Croatian exporters to the Russian Federation last year.

The fact that the Petersburg forum was the place to be for all things business was highlighted by the fact that its guest was the president of China, Xi Jinping.

Detailed discussions were held about trends in international economics, human development, environment and trade, technological achievements and much more between 5,000 representatives of both political and business circles, scientists, the public and media from all over the world.

Follow our dedicated business page for much more on Croatian companies, Croatian products and services, and the Croatian business and investment world.

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