E.Zaharieva: Bulgaria Wants Constructive Cooperation with Russia

Politics » DIPLOMACY | October 18, 2019, Friday // 15:03
Bulgaria: E.Zaharieva: Bulgaria Wants Constructive Cooperation with Russia

This was stated by our Foreign Minister during her visit to Moscow, reported NOVA TV.

Bulgaria is interested in an equal and mutually beneficial dialogue with Russia. Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said in an interview with TASS. 

"There has been no visit of a Bulgarian foreign minister to Moscow for 8 years. This will also be my first visit to Russia since I am Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs since 2017. I am glad that this visit is happening at a time when our two countries are celebrating 140 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, and I thank Mr. Sergey Lavrov for the invitation'', she said.

The Bulgarian foreign minister hopes that her visit will go into an atmosphere of bilateral dialogue "based on constructive cooperation and mutual respect for interests".

"We are interested in conducting an equal and mutually beneficial political dialogue, guided by our national interests and the common EU and NATO policies," Zaharieva emphasized.

The Deputy Prime Minister also commented on the tensions arising in the bilateral relations over the statement of the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry regarding the historic exhibition dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Eastern Europe from Nazism, which was opened on September 9 at the Russian Cultural and Information Center in Sofia. She also commented on the allegations against the chairman of the National Movement for Russophilia Nikolay Malinov.

"I would like to emphasize that our reaction to the exhibition of the Russian Embassy in Sofia on September 9 has nothing to do with the operation of our services. Already 20 years ago, the Supreme Legislature of Bulgaria - the National Assembly - gave its assessment of these events and their consequences for the Bulgarian state and society by adopting the Law on Declaring the Communist Regime in Bulgaria. Rest assured that we would not have reacted if such an exhibition entitled "75 Years since the Liberation of Eastern Europe from Nazism" had been organized in our country on May 9 and not September 9, "Zaharieva said.

As for the operation of our services, which I am not familiar with in detail, since it is run by the prosecutor's office, which in Bulgaria is part of the judiciary and is independent of the executive, I would like to say that from the publicly known information so far , it does not target individuals directly associated with official authorities. The investigation into Russophiles concerns specific individuals suspected of having committed crimes and should not be tied to Russian-Bulgarian relations, ”the foreign minister stressed.

"Neither the discussions around the date of 9 September 1944 nor the investigation against the Russophiles national movement are the subject of our bilateral relations with Russia. We have serious topics on the agenda of the Bulgarian-Russian relations and I expect them to be discussed during my visit to Moscow, ”added Ekaterina Zaharieva.

Zaharieva stressed the importance of Bulgaria's open and equal political dialogue with Russia in view of its national interests and common EU and NATO policies.

"I am convinced that this kind of dialogue will help to develop our cooperation in areas of mutual interest, to find mutually acceptable solutions to current bilateral relations issues, and to exchange views on current issues on the international agenda," he said. 

,,We have a common history with Russia since the time of the spread of Cyrillic and Christianity. It may not be widely known to the general public that Bulgarian Orthodoxy has played a major role in the promotion of Christianity in Russian lands, and key figures in Russian history are of Bulgarian origin. The first Metropolitan of Moscow and all of Russia, Saint Cyprian, solemnly welcomed in Moscow in 1390, for example, is Bulgarian. His relics rest in the Kremlin's Assumption Cathedral, "Zaharieva recalled.

"We supported each other as later Russian Orthodoxy helped with the resources and literature of enslaved Bulgarian Christians, and during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878 our common history was imbued with the blood of Bulgarian, Russian and other Slavs, and close peoples who helped Bulgaria regain its statehood. That is why I am convinced that a common story should unite, not divide. We stand for this position, as well as the principles of friendship and good neighborliness, in our policy towards all countries. Our two countries are very close geographically and we share many common interests. In this sense, I think that culture and history should help the economy and politics, not the other way around, ”stressed the Bulgarian Foreign Minister.

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Tags: Ekaterina Zaharieva, Sergey Lavrov, Russia, Moscow, Bulgaria

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