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Statements for the press following the meeting with President of Bulgaria Rumen Radev

May 22, 2018, Sochi

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues and friends, ladies and gentlemen.

As you know, President Radev came on our invitation to attend the events linked with the 140th anniversary of the liberation of the Bulgarian people from the Ottoman yoke, and the end of the liberation war. These are landmarks in the history of both Bulgaria and Russia.

During our conversation, which was very detailed both in the restricted and expanded formats, I informed Mr President about our priorities in building bilateral relations and Russia’s approaches to a number of international issues.

I think Mr President’s visit is a good signal for resuming full-fledged Russian-Bulgarian relations.

Thank you for your attention.

President of Bulgaria Rumen Radev (retranslated): Mr President, first of all, I would like to thank you for your invitation. The goal of our visit is to try to resume the top-level dialogue between our countries.

Restoring trust will be very difficult, because we will have to do this after three major projects that were suspended because of confrontation between the European Union and NATO on the one hand and Russia on the other hand, in conditions of sanctions and restrictions.

However, we have made the first step towards this. President Putin and I have conducted a strategic review of relations between our countries and identified the traditions and the huge potential of our countries in trade, energy, tourism, cultural development and transport.

This will be a positive impetus for the Bulgarian Government, for taking a realistic stand and assuming a responsible attitude to the development of relations between our countries. This impetus will be taken up by Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, who plans to visit Russia soon.

We also discussed international security issues of mutual concern. Bulgaria will do its best to promote dialogue and mutual understanding between our countries, because nobody wants to go back in the past and see a cold war between Russia and the EU. Therefore, we will work on this positive impetus in all spheres of our relations.

There is still much we must do on the issues where we have problems and differences. I would like to repeat my invitation to President Putin to visit Bulgaria in this year of the 140th anniversary of Bulgaria’s liberation and victory in the Russo-Turkish War.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you.

May 22, 2018, Sochi