Bulgarian Consulate in Yekaterinburg Reopens
Bulgaria expects to issue at least 20 000 visas to residents of Russia's Ural district alone in 2016, the Ambassador of Sofia to Moscow has said.
Boyko Kotsev, quoted by TASS agency, has made his remarks at a ceremony marking the reopening of Bulgaria's consulate in Yekaterinburg, which earlier this week renewed work after having remained closed for nearly six years.
The consular office will also provide services to residents of Sverdlovsk Oblast and the Ural Federal District willing to obtain business or tourist visas.
Yakaterinburg officials estimate that 6500 Bulgarian visas were issued last year to residents of Ural district alone, when there was no nearby consular service to facilitate the process.
The local administration also quotes Bulgaria's Ambassador Boyko Kotsev as saying children's tourism to Bulgaria did not mark a drop even "in the most complicated period of relations between Russia and the EU".
Kotsev has also expressed hope that the speeding up of visa issuance will improve prospects for a better economic coooperation in areas such as engineering, the chemical and pharmaceutical industry.
Trade turnover with Ural district was USD 17 M for Bulgaria in 2015, a twofold increase compared to 2014.
Bulgaria's Consulate in Yekaterinburg was first inaugurated in 2002, but the Foreign Ministry in Sofia decided to close it down in 2011.
The previous elected government had been seeking to reopen the service by mid-2014, but had to step down in the summer of the same year.
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