Russian Investment in Bulgaria Nearing USD 2 B in Decade - FM Lavrov
Corporate investment into the Bulgarian economy has been almost USD 2 B over the last 10 years, Russia's Foreign Minister has said hours ahead of a visit to Sofia.
Sergey Lavrov has told Focus News Agency that bilateral trade turnover was USD 2.9 B (BGN 4.17 B) last year, citing the numbers as an example for successful commercial and economic relations.
The top diplomat has also mentioned the large-scale modernization of Russian oil giant Lukoil's biggest petrochemical works on the Balkan Peninsula (accounting for 25% of tax revenues in Bulgaria's budget).
Lavrov has also reminded that more than 300 000 Russians have purchased properties in Bulgaria worth over USD 4-5 B (roughly BGN 5.7-7.2 B).
In his view, genuine interest of his fellow citizens to Bulgaria is displayed by the growing influx of tourists from the country, with 680 000 having visited it just in 2013.
He has stressed that the "special nature" of relations between Bulgaria and Russia was, to a large extent, underpinned by the civilizational proximity between their peoples, the "community of Slavic roots, the rich spiritual and cultural heritage."
Lavrov is to meet his counterpart Kristian Vigenin and is also due to be received by President Rosen Plevneliev, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski and Parliament Speaker MIihail Mikov.
In a recent article in the Forbes magazine, he ranks among the world's most influential politicians.
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