VRSIC, Slovenia – Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Slovenia, a member of both the European Union and NATO, testing Western unity in maintaining sanctions against the Kremlin for its role in Ukraine.
Slovenia, a small Alpine nation where U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's wife Melania was born, has kept friendly relations with Russia even as it joined EU sanctions against Moscow for the annexation of Crimea.
While in Slovenia — his only third visit to an EU nation this year — Putin will attend a centenary commemoration for a chapel in the Julian Alps. The church was erected to honor 100 Russian World War I prisoners of war who died in an avalanche while building a mountain pass for the Austrian army.
Slovenia has carefully portrayed Putin's visit Saturday as informal.