Bulgaria President Heading for Moscow: Relations with Russia Best 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.
In his words, these two initiatives will celebrate the deep historical connections in terms of cultural relations and exchange in the bilateral relations but are also going to boost the economic cooperation.
Bulgaria's Year in Russia will be opened with a gala concert in the Bolshoy Theater in Moscow on February 5 but much of the campaign's program will consist of economic forums throughout 2009 including Sofia's Days in Moscow and Varna's Days in St. Petersburg.
When asked about the consequences that the recent natural gas crisis might have on Bulgarian-Russian relations, Parvanov said the crisis had to be analyzed from all sides including in the context of the global financial crisis.
"The mortgage crisis, the collapses of the world markets, the fluctuations in prices of products, metals, energy resources, and the disturbances in the global consumption patterns - all these are related processes... The rate of globalization has overtaken the abilities of the international community to accept normative regulations which could control the dynamics of the world market. The existing international legal system has failed to secure the stability of the international economic relations. The partial cutoff of Russian gas supplies for Europe appears to be just one of the many elements of these common processes", President Parvanov explained.
He has restated his view that Bulgaria was equally interested in the realization of both the Russian-sponsored South Stream, and the EU-sponsored Nabucco gas transit pipeline. He believes both projects have great advantages for Europe and for the Balkan region.
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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.
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.
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!
!!! 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 whateverвЂ¦) 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 etcвЂ¦ 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!!!
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?
"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.
"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.
"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...
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.