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Deutsche Bahn Seen as Best Partner for Slovenske Zeleznice

Ljubljana, 05 February (STA) - The struggling Slovenian state-owned rail operator deems German rail operator Deutsche Bahn as the most serious partner for a potential tie-up, Slovenske zeleznice boss Goran Brankovic told Friday's edition of weekly Mladina.

Slovenske zeleznice will talk to other operators, "but all circumstances considered, we see Deutsche Bahn as the best solution".

"However, the main criterion for cooperation will be the proceeds that Slovenske zeleznice are hoping for," he said.

The German rail operator sees Slovenske zeleznice as a window to the Balkans and the Middle East for cargo transport, according to Brankovic.

"I can clearly say that they are not interested in infrastructure investment. They are interested in cooperation in cargo transport," said Brankovic, who rhas ecently held talks with the management of Deutsche Bahn and has another meeting scheduled later this month.

Talks with Deutsche Bahn were held already under the previous government, but at that time the plan was to include port operator Luka Koper and logistics group Intereuropa in the deal.

This time, however, the railway operator is negotiating independently. "We are not mixing anyone else in. Ownership changes are a matter for the owners to decide," Brankovic said.

Brankovic said he told Deutsche Bahn that everything was still open "but we are discussing only cooperation in cargo transport."

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