Parliament Chair Karayancheva in Moscow: Russia Is Important Partner of Bulgaria in Energy Sphere
June 25 (BTA) - Russia is an important partner of
Bulgaria in the energy sphere, which is in one of the leading
places in the bilateral relations, National Assembly Chair
Tsveta Karayancheva said here on Tuesday. She was speaking at a
meeting with Valentina Matviyenko, Chair of the Federation
Council with the Russian Federal Assembly, Parliament's press
Karayancheva is in Moscow as the head of a Bulgarian
parliamentary delegation comprising the Bulgaria-Russia
Friendship Group's co-chairs Krassimir Velchev and Anton Koutev
and Deputy Chair Volen Siderov, and MPs Diana Savateva,
Boryana Georgieva and Ahmed Ahmedov.
Karayancheva told Matviyenko that Bulgaria is conducting a
policy aimed at guaranteeing both the country's and the EU's
energy security. In her words, Bulgaria supports the possibility
of a branch of the TurkStream gas pipeline passing through its
territory towards Serbia and Europe. "In this context, I would
suggest calling this branch 'Balkan Stream'. The gas supplies
along this pipeline will also strengthen the role of the Balkan
gas hub, through which real diversification of gas supplies and
competitive prices will be achieved both for Bulgaria and
Europe," the Parliament Chair said.
Karayancheva shared her country's wish to continue the
implementation of the Belene N-plant project. She underscored
that the procedure for finding a strategic investor has already
been launched and any participant is welcome to run in the
competition, including Rosatom. The project is being implemented
entirely on a market principle, and Bulgaria will not provide
state guarantees or contracts for buying out electricity at
preferential prices, she specified.
Karayancheva and Matviyenko also discussed the activization of
contacts between their countries' legislative institutions and
the will to development the bilateral political dialogue. It was
noted that the Bulgarian parliamentarians' visit will give
additional impetus to the development of the bilateral political
dialogue and particularly to the interparliamentary
Karayancheva said that the MPs on the friendship groups could
contribute a lot to the bilateral political dialogue. "This
fact, together with the traditionally good relations and sincere
friendship between the Bulgarian and Russian peoples, could
contribute to very good results in our cooperation," she said.
Karayancheva and Matviyenko gave a very high mark to the
activization of the bilateral ties at the highest political
level. They also expressed satisfaction with the restoration of
the work of the Bulgaria-Russia Intergovernmental Commission for
Economic and Trade Cooperation.
"We are interested in a political dialogue in which we are led
by our national interests and, at the same time, we adhere to
the common policy of the members of NATO and the EU,"
Karayancheva said. As a full member of these two organizations,
Bulgaria could serve as a bridge in the relations between Russia
and the EU and NATO, she added.
"We are concerned by the drop in two-day way trade in 2018
compared to 2017, particularly by the decrease in Bulgarian
export," Karayancheva also said. According to her, there is
potential to increase the export of Bulgarian goods that are
well-known on the Russian market.
The two sides also gave a high mark to the positive dynamic in
the bilateral cooperation's development in the field of
education and science, as well as to the already established
fruitful and constructive relations between Bulgarian secondary
schools and higher education establishments and their Russian
partners. Karayancheva and Matviyenko discussed the
opportunities for increasing the study of the Bulgarian and
Russian languages in their countries.
Karayacheva raised the question about the possibility of
Bulgarian students in Russia to be allowed to work part-time.
Matviyenko said that legislative changes have been made that
make this possible as of September. She also said that as of
2020, the Russian side will increase the number of scholarships
for Bulgarian students from 225 to 300.
Karayancheva proposed that Bulgaria continue to develop its
cooperation with Russia in the fields of economy, transport,
science and culture. The bilateral relations in tourism were
described as particularly important to Bulgaria.
The participants in the meeting noted the centuries of
traditionally close ties between Bulgaria and Russia.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Bulgarian parliamentary delegation led
by Karayancheva laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown
Soldier and honoured the memory of the fallen heroes with a
minute of silence.
After her arrival in Moscow on Monday evening, Karayancheva met
with representatives of the Bulgarian community in the Russian
capital. Attending were Bulgarian students in the city and
Bulgarians working in big multinational companies and leading