The Croatian government is interested in an early commissioning of the Druzhba-Adria oil pipeline and in intensifying economic cooperation with Russia, said Croatian Deputy Prime Minister Slavko Linic. The meeting between Linic and Russian energy minister Igor Yusufov resulted in signing a Russo-Croatian protocol on taking the Druzhba-Adria project off the ground. According to Linic, the signed document clearly testifies to the willingness of Russia and Croatia to launch the project as soon as possible. Other parties to the project are the following four countries--Ukraine, Belarus, Slovakia and Hungary. The deputy prime minister of Croatia stressed that his country would like to increase trade turnover with Russia and to encourage the growth of investment in Croatian economy. He also reminded his audience that next year the Croatian government intended to start privatising the INA oil company. This, in his words, opens new opportunities for Russian companies willing to enter the Croatian market. Zagreb also aspires to help Croatian companies return to the Russian market. Linic emphasised that Croatia annually purchased large amounts of oil and gas in Russia and was interested in establishing balanced trade by increasing the flow of Croatian goods to Russia. My first meetings with Russian officials, he stressed, have shown that our governments agree on this issue, and the initiative now belongs to entrepreneurs of the two countries.