The Black Sea Winemaking Forum at the Zagreb festival under the auspices of the Embassy of Russia

07 December 2017

On November 24-25, the 12th International Zagreb Festival of Wine and Culinary Art took place at Esplanade Zagreb Hotel. For the first time Russia was elected by organizers as a country-partner of the festival, which was held under the auspices of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Croatia.

The Zagreb festival is the largest event in the winemaking industry in the Western Balkans. About 300 companies from Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Italy, Austria and other countries as well as a large number of guests, including experts in the winemaking industry – enologists, winemakers, sommeliers and journalists – participated in the event.

The Russian delegations took part in the event at the special invitation of Ambassador of Russia to Croatia Anvar Azimov and Director of the festival Professor Ivan Dropulic and was represented by the Black Sea Winemaking Forum.

The ambassador made a welcome speech at the opening of the festival (on the photo). He mentioned that the Croatians, despite all the artificial impediments, are attracted to Russia and the Russian culture. The charismatic Russian ambassador has become a well-known figure in the past 2 years among representatives of large and small business in Croatia, which in spite of the sanctions, is focused on improving business climate with Russia. Such an improvement is even more important for the winemaking industry since wine is not affected by the sanctions. Ambassador Azimov set a goal in his speech to restore and increase the trade exchange between Russia and Croatia from EUR 1 billion to 4 billion in the coming years.

Minister of Regional Development of Croatia Tomislav Tolusic also made a speech at the opening of the festival having stated that development of the winemaking and eno-gastro tourism in agricultural areas can help to resolve a major problem of the country, i.e. stop labor migration of the youth to other countries of the EU. Croatia has lost over 25% of population due to that in the 21st century.

The visit of the delegation of the Black Sea Forum demonstrated that after the meeting of the presidents of Russia and Croatia in October of 2017 economic rapprochement of the countries has been slowly taking place. It is happening to a great extent due to active work of the Embassy of Russia in Zagreb, which skillfully applies business diplomacy of the “second track”. Besides, the Croatian concept of “developing the trade in the region of the three seas” – the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea – has started slowly working to support Russian economic interests as well.

A full text of the article in Russian can be found here