Slovenia receives Russian patrol boat as debt repayment

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A Russian-made patrol boat arrived in the Slovenian port of Koper on Sunday, as part of Moscow's repayment of Soviet-era debt, according to an AFP reporter.

The Svetlyak class rapid patrol boat will be used for reconnaissance and rescue operations along the country's 43-kilometre (27-mile) coastline, said Defence Minister Ljubica Jelusic at a ceremony.

"With this boat, Slovenia will prove that it is a maritime country," Jelusic said.

The Triglav, named after the country's highest peak, is worth 35 million dollars (25 million euros), and is part of a deal to clear Russia's Soviet-era debt of 129 million dollars.

Slovenia, a former Yugoslav state that declared independence in 1990, joined NATO and the European Union in 2004.

© 2010 AFP

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