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Commenting article: Bulgaria President Heading for Moscow: Relations with Russia Best in 20 Years

Right before leaving for Moscow on Wednesday, Bulgaria's President Georgi Parvanov declared that the Bulgarian-Russian relations were at their best level in 20 years.

In an interview for the ITAR-TASS news agency, Parvanov pointed out that the campaign "Bulgaria's Year in Russia 2009", which he is going to open, was a continuation of "Russia's Year in Bulgaria 2008" launched about a year ago with the visit of the then Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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#1
xNELLIEx - 5 Feb 2009 // 14:14:48

Yeah, right? Putin should get a dozen shoes thrown at him when he gives a press conference or a speech. He is the worst human rights abuser in the universe.

#2
#3
xNELLIEx - 5 Feb 2009 // 02:12:44

BUSINESS IS BUSINESS (cont.)

The Russian financial crisis of 2008-2009 has been compounded by political fears after the war with Georgia, as ell as the plummeting price of Urals heavy crude oil, which has lost more than 70% of its value since its record peak of $147 on 4 July 2008. Russia's underlying structural weaknesses and high dependence on the price of a single commodity make its impact more pronounced than would otherwise be the case.

In November 2008, there were reports that trade in Russian shares had increasingly shifted to London traded Global Depositary Receipts during frequent suspensions in Moscow, dictated by rules imposed by the regulator to reduce volatility on Moscow's increasingly illiquid stock market. Reuters reported more than $1 trillion has been wiped off the value of Russia's shares during the crisis.

As the crisis progressed, it became clear the Kremlin would play the dominant role in deciding which Russian oligarchs -- many of whom were highly leveraged -- would survive the crisis.Reuters and the Financial Times speculated that the crisis would be used to increase the Kremlin's control over key strategic assets in a reverse of the "loans for shares" sales of the 1990s, when the state sold off major assets to the oligarchs in return for loans. State VEB bank was used to refinance the debt of Oleg Deripaska, once ranked by Forbes as Russia's richest man, but demanded a 25 percent stake in Norilsk Nickel as collateral for the $4.5 billion loan.The Financial Times called it another "sale of the century", a reference to the book about the Russian asset sales of the 1990s by Chrystia Freeland.

In February 2009, Fitch Ratings downgraded Russia's Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default ratings (IDR) to 'BBB' from 'BBB+', the Short-term foreign currency IDR to 'F3' from 'F2' and the Country Ceiling to 'BBB+' from 'A-' (A minus). "The downgrade reflects the negative impact on Russia from the fall in commodity prices and the dislocation to global capital markets that has left Russian banks and companies struggling to refinance external debt, and the difficulties Russia faces in managing the necessary macroeconomic policy adjustments," said Edward Parker, Head of Emerging Europe in Fitch's Sovereigns team. "The scale of capital outflows and the pace of decline in Russia's foreign exchange reserves have materially weakened the sovereign balance sheet," said Mr Parker. Russia's foreign exchange reserves (FXR) have fallen by USD210bn, from their peak at end-July 2008 to USD386.5bn as at 23 January 2009, albeit around USD58bn of which was due to valuation effects. The euro fell to session lows versus the dollar below $1.29 after ratings agency Fitch downgrade.

#4
xNELLIEx - 5 Feb 2009 // 02:05:20

BISINESS IS BUSINESS (cont.)

Avoiding a 1998-style currency collapse is seen key to political stability, but keeping the rouble's depreciation gradual has cost Russia some $200 billion, or a third of its currency reserves.

Markets still look intent on further depreciation -- while the central bank has vowed to keep the currency within a 26 to 41 band versus the basket.

On Wednesday, the rouble weakened as far as 40.95, according to Reuters data, stopping a few kopecks away from the boundary for a second day.

Dealers said the central bank appeared to have placed a big offer of around $1 billion to buy roubles at around 36.18-19 per dollar, which is broadly equivalent to the 41 per basket mark.

#5
xNELLIEx - 5 Feb 2009 // 02:03:03

BUSINESS IS BUSINESS

Yeah, right! Dream on, baby!

"Russia has the 9th largest economy and is just on its way to become a major global economical giant, which happens to be very conveniently and strategically located to Bulgaria."

Russia is broke because the price of oil dropped from $140 to $40 per barrel. Furthermore, the ruble is worthless. You are either extremely ignorant or in complete denial. Russia has sought to put a floor under the rouble after letting it slide 28 percent versus the euro-dollar currency basket in 6 months, adjusting to weak oil prices and THE COUNTRY'S WORST ECONOMIC OUTLOOK IN A DECADE.

Learn to read, Georgie Boy!

#6
George Zheliazkov - 5 Feb 2009 // 01:34:59

!!! BUSINESS IS BUSINESS!!!

I would have to say BRAVO to that BG President and in many ways to the whole present BG government. Russia was and is a major historical, traditional, cultural and strategic Slavic partner to Bulgaria. Russia has the 9th largest economy and is just on its way to become a major global economical giant, which happens to be very conveniently and strategically located to Bulgaria.

Make no mistakes and have no illusions that any other cultures (Anglo-Saxon for example or whatever…) can be better friends ever or get closer to our Slavic heritage than our own Slavic friends and relatives.
So business with Russia is good and not only Russia in that matter, business should be easier with all Slavic nations like Poland, Czechs, Slovaks, Ukrainians, Byelorussia, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Macedonia etc… accounting for about 500 million people.

If we learn to appreciate our heritage and accelerate making business together the EU will look like a childish game!

!!! BUSINESS IS BUSINESS!!!

#7
xNELLIEx - 4 Feb 2009 // 23:16:10

On my back? Not likely. I am on-top kinda gal.

#8
Kolegialen - 4 Feb 2009 // 22:45:48

Oh you will... on your back....

#9
Kolegialen - 4 Feb 2009 // 22:43:49

What are you talking about?
Russia is maneuvering to to get close enough ties with the EU so that she can force her interests through and control them - nothing to do with BG.
Russia wants the EU to increase its dependance on her.
We should do whatever we can to help her, if our interests dictate.

She also wants to elbow out the US. Can you blame her after all the bulling on their part?

#10
xNELLIEx - 4 Feb 2009 // 22:37:36

"I think we should do everything possible to get their money.
But we should also help Russia fukc with them."

What's in if for Bulgaria? Russia fcuking with the EU, that is. It will not benefit Bulgaria in the least, especially in view of the fact that Russia is maneuvering for closer ties to the EU. The EU is Russia's biggest client for gas and oil. Do you think Russia is stupid enough to alienate its biggest client just to satify the revenge impulses of deadbeat little Bulgaria? Putin is gonna kick out Stanishev like a rabid dog.

#11
Kolegialen - 4 Feb 2009 // 22:27:40

"And the Europeans should care because? The EU is very happy to be saving the European taxpayers money by withholding it from Bulgaria."

In the long run they should care. They have incorporated people who are getting more and more hateful towards them.
I am not the only one who'd love to see EU fail.
Only because of the way they treat us - not withholding funds - that's good. We need external pressure to reform - it's the way they insult us publicly and privately - that's gonna come back to bite them in the ass major time!


"You are a good little hore sucking American schlong, but Bulgaria should insist on its dignity and not do anything to reinstate EU funding?"

I say no such a thing!
I think we should do everything possible to get their money.
But we should also help Russia fukc with them.

#12
xNELLIEx - 4 Feb 2009 // 22:20:04

"And the Europeans should know that insults don't work - they just breed hatred."

And the Europeans should care because? The EU is very happy to be saving the European taxpayers money by withholding it from Bulgaria. Bulgaria should be a good little hore, like you, and suck EU schlong to get paid.

You are SUCH a hyppocrite! You are doing exactly what you are telling Bulgaria not to do. You are a good little hore sucking American schlong, but Bulgaria should insist on its dignity and not do anything to reinstate EU funding? Tzu...tzu...tzu...

#13
Kolegialen - 4 Feb 2009 // 22:11:43

That's right.
And the Europeans should know that insults don't work - they just breed hatred.

#14
xNELLIEx - 4 Feb 2009 // 22:09:10

kolega

You are extremely short-sighted. You are going to cut off your nose to spite your face. This is exactly the Balkan attitude that has held the Balkans back and exactly why no progress is possible in Bulgaria, EVER! Bulgaria is made up of millions of kolegas who think just like you. I see no hope for Bulgaria. A lovely country, just one problem - it is populated with Bulgarians.

#15
xNELLIEx - 4 Feb 2009 // 22:05:13

"Fukc the EU."

No. Fcuk Russia, fcuk Putin.

Bulgaria news Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) is unique with being a real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news. The editorial staff also publishes a daily online newspaper "Sofia Morning News." Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) and Sofia Morning News publish the latest economic, political and cultural news that take place in Bulgaria. Foreign media analysis on Bulgaria and World News in Brief are also part of the web site and the online newspaper. News Bulgaria