Prime Ministers Borissov of Bulgaria, Medvedev of Russia Confer at Economic Forum in Turkmenistan

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov conferred here on Monday with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev within the framework of the First Caspian Economic Forum, the Government Information Service said.

Borissov stressed the importance of top-level dialogue and expressed satisfaction that the discussion on pragmatic and mutually advantageous cooperation now continues after Medvedev'sofficial visit to Bulgaria in March.

The Bulgarian head of government stressed his country's interest in engaging in a mutually beneficial bilateral political dialogue with Russia on equal footing, in which Bulgaria is guided by its national interests while, at the same time, adhering to the common policy of the EU and NATO Member States.

Borissov pointed out that Bulgaria is willing to pursue cooperation with Russia in matters of priority importance for Bulgaria in the economy, energy, tourism, transport, education, science, culture and social policy.

Energy figured high on the two prime ministers' agenda. Borissov noted that Bulgaria pursues a policy seeking to ensure energy security for both Bulgaria and the EU. He emphasized that diversification is an important element of ensuring the security of gas supplies in the EU and added that Bulgaria is actively working on gas interconnector projects with the neighbouring countries. He drew special attention to the Bulgarian Government's hard work for the implementation of the Balkan Gas
Distribution Centre project.

The possibility of implementing the Belene N-Plant project under the conditions set by the Bulgarian side was also discussed at the meeting. August 19 is the closing date for the submission of applications for entry in the strategic investor selection procedure for the project. Borissov noted the need of capacities in the region to generate clean and affordable electricity, considering the ever more ambitions targets for a reduction of harmful emissions in all economic sectors. In this sense, Belene
can provide precisely such source of electricity for the region.

On transport cooperation, Borissov said that Bulgaria is interested in exploring opportunities for the launch of passenger Ro-Ro ferry links between Bourgas in Bulgaria and Port Kavkaz and Novorossiysk in Russia.

Borissov expressed satisfaction with the recent 16th Session of the Bulgarian-Russian Intergovernmental Commission for Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation and expects the Commission to hold its next session shortly and contribute further to the advancement of bilateral relations.

For his part, Medvedev suggested to Borissov to explore opportunities opening up to Russia and Bulgaria and try "to complement the Black Sea and the Caspian dimension, especially if this earns dividends for the States and peoples in our countries," the TASS Russian News Agency reported.

"This region has an enormous potential, and Bulgaria is located on the opposite side of the Black Sea and is a sort of gateway to the European continent. We usually discuss the subject of gas, but we must be aware that trade relations, rail transport, road connectivity, maritime transport, the hubs existing in both Bulgaria and Russia and to the north of that region open up enormous opportunities," Borissov told his Russian counterpart according to TASS. "The Black Sea must remain a sea of commerce, tourism and transport links involving ferries, yachts and gas pipelines," he added.

Source: BTA, Turkmenistan

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