Bulgaria intends to contribute to the dialogue between the EU and Russia. This was stated by President Rumen Radev today in Sochi, where he arrived for talks with Vladimir Putin.
Bulgaria intends to contribute to the dialogue between the EU and Russia. This was stated by President Rumen Radev today in Sochi, where he arrived for talks with Vladimir Putin. Radev invited the Russian leader to visit Bulgaria this year and noted that his aim is to restore the past level of relations between the two countries.
The current perspective of this cooperation and what other statements were made in Sochi are in a report by our correspondent, Alexey Petrov.
It's not just traditional greetings on the porch of the Sochi residence, it's a real chance for the relations of the two countries. While adhering to EU's general course, Bulgaria clearly doesn't want to miss the opportunity and to lose money. The bold statements by Rumen Radev about the necessity of leaving anti-Russian sanctions have already created a sensation. Sofia sticks to the sanctions regardless, but business has a different logic.
Vladimir Putin: "I won't dwell on the economic questions now, I'll only note that last year we observed a rise in the turnover, which can't but delight us. But we have larger possibilities than what we do today and what we've achieved. In a few days, we'll have the pleasure of hosting the Prime Minister of Bulgaria in Moscow. And, of course, we will continue these talks".
President Rumen Radev: "The aim of my visit is to restore the dialogue between our countries on the highest level after the years-long pause, because this dialogue has great importance in all spheres of our mutual interest. I expect that today we'll do a strategic review of our bilateral relations".
President Radev is an ex-military pilot. Here's footage of him soaring upwards in a combat plane. He started on old MiG-15, achieving the rank of a MiG-29 squadron commander. A NATO general, who's well familiar with Soviet equipment, he now has to maneuver in the sky of big-time European politics.
And here's an example of a maneuver: Yesterday, in Moscow, Radev met with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and stated that Bulgaria counts on re-visiting the question of the possibility of direct gas supplies` from Russia through the Black Sea. 4 years ago, Bulgaria rejected the South Stream. Ankara took advantage of the situation and the pipeline is headed towards Turkey. The industry is counting its profits. Even Germany, leader of the European economy, despite the pressure, doesn't refuse Nord Stream 2. Counting the missed profit and possibilities, Bulgaria clearly indicates they are interested in the gas flow going through their territory. But for now, the development of cooperation in the energy sphere is more up to Sofia.
Alexander Novak, Russian Minister of Energy: "It's important for us that these large potential infrastructure projects would be guaranteed from the perspective of the gas buyers and be guaranteed from the perspective of the European law, guaranteed by the Bulgarian government and the European Commission. Basically, the ball is in Bulgaria's court, on the side of our partners and colleagues".
Just the fact that Russia is the only gas supplier to the country clarifies the importance of the meeting for the Bulgarian side. The situation around the Belene Nuclear Power Plant is also in the spotlight. The mothballed project may be reset.
No matter what were the economic disputes and political differences are about, the relations of the two countries are based on solid historical ties, as especially noted by Putin.
Vladimir Putin: "You're visiting our country in celebration of the 140 anniversary of Liberation of Bulgaria from the Osman Yoke, in light of the Liberation War ending, and this is one of the important milestones in our common history. But it's not everything. A lot of things unite us".
President Rumen Radev: "Together, we celebrated another symbolic event: 140 years since the Liberation of Bulgaria and the victory in the Russo-Turkish war, due to which Bulgaria was resurrected and once again appeared on the map of Europe".
After the meeting, Putin and Radev summarize the talks together. The statement on the result of talks is given on the porch of the residence. The journalists, both from the Russian and Bulgarian media, await the details. The economic and energy development are in the spotlight. There are not many details, but the main thing is that the parties managed to discuss several topics.
Vladimir Putin: "In the course of the meeting, which was very detailed, both in a large and a narrow circle, I informed Mr. President about our priorities in building bilateral relations and about Russia's approach to several international problems and questions. I think that this visit by Mr. President is a great signal to restore the fully-functional Russian-Bulgarian relations".
President Rumen Radev: "Bulgaria will fully contribute to the development of dialogue and mutual understanding between our two countries because no one is interested in returning to the Cold War times in relations between Russia and the EU".
Rumen Radev invited Putin to a reciprocal visit. Bulgaria is clearly betting on pragmatism.
Alexei Petrov, Anna Tsimaylo, Oleg Makarov, Stanislav Ponomarenko, Vesti, Sochi.