site.btaPresident Radev for ANA-MPA: Bulgaria and Greece Form Strategic Axis of Stability
"Bulgaria and Greece form a strategic axis of stability which provides stability and perspectives for sustainable development and growth for the entire region," President Rumen Radev said in an interview for Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA).
Radev paid a visit on Monday to the 87th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), where Bulgaria is an honored country, and met with President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou.
Radev described the bilateral relationship as "never having been better", highlighting collaboration in a series of economic sectors such as energy, and underlines Bulgaria's interest in the development and management plans for the ports of Kavala and Alexandroupolis, especially in light of the blocked trade routes in the Black Sea, due to the war in Ukraine.
He also pointed out that Bulgaria and Greece are not competitors in terms of the role of an energy hub in the region but "close, trusted reliable partners", and he also referred to a series of projects of key importance that are either already implemented or in a process of implementation (IGB, FSRU, Sea2Sea, the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline, among others). Radev also noted that Greece cannot fully unleash its potential in energy, transport, and many other areas without Bulgaria, therefore the two countries need to stand together.
Radev mentioned the region of Alexandroupolis, saying that it is "a strategic centre of gravity" where the projects being developed are vitally important for his country and the region.
He also responded to questions on Bulgaria's relationship with North Macedonia in terms of the latter's accession to the EU. He said: "We should not speak anymore about a Bulgarian veto," since the Copenhagen criteria for accession and the European Council's conclusions of last June clearly set out the requirements for accession of North Macedonia, which must respond to these for a better future for its citizens and for the future "of all of us living in the Balkans."
Radev expressed his condolences to the victims' families in the deadly floods in Greece and Bulgaria and underlined that "climate change is a global challenge which demands a global answer." He also proposed collaboration between Bulgaria and Greece and exchange of information and technologies to manage natural catastrophes. He noted that the system of early warning that is already in use in Greece is under trial in Bulgaria and will be launched in the coming months.
Commenting on Bulgaria's presence in this year's Thessaloniki International Fair, Radev said he expected it would bring a lot of new partnerships between Greek and Bulgarian companies.