NEWS

2024-03-01 19:02:00

President Rumen Radev: Achieving Peace and Sustainable Conflict Resolution in Regions Neighbouring Europe Is Possible Only Through Diplomacy

Regardless of how deep the contradictions and aggravated the conflicts are in our region, achieving their sustainable resolution and peace is only possible through the means of diplomacy and restoring dialogue. This is what President Rumen Radev told Bulgarian journalists after participating in the opening of the third edition of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Rumen Radev pointed out that the balanced use of all possible means to restore the dialogue is particularly important against the background of mounting tensions, especially in connection with the war in Ukraine, as well as in the context of the alarming statements of state leaders in recent days. Under no circumstances can we take decisions that will lead to the expansion of this clash both territorially and in terms of the range and use of new weapons, the President said, noting the threats to use nuclear weapons.

On the sidelines of the Forum, the Bulgarian Head of State held meetings with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Türkiye, at whose invitation he is in the country, as well as with Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary and Prime Minister Dorin Recean of Moldova.

Deepening the connectivity between Bulgaria and Türkiye, expanding trade and economic exchange and energy cooperation were discussed at the meeting of Presidents Radev and Erdogan, and these topics remain a priority, as the two heads of state agreed at their bilateral meeting more than a year ago. The Bulgarian head of state has invited his Turkish opposite number to visit Bulgaria this year in order to identify new opportunities for cooperation in various areas of mutual interest. Whether the visit will take place this year depends on Bulgaria having a stable government, because it is related to the preparation of bilateral documents and the organisation of business participation.

Rumen Radev pointed out that the purpose of his talks with both Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Viktor Orban was to restore confidence in Bulgaria as a reliable partner in energy, trade and economy. A trust that has been pogromed by the government with the so-called energy contribution. Apparently, the government forgot the shame of this contribution, which they pushed through parliament, voted, and then two months later repealed, but our partners have not forgotten, the President added.

Rumen Radev reminded that the contract with the Turkish company Botas for reserved capacity of the liquefied gas terminals in Türkiye and free access to the gas transmission network of our southeastern neighbour created preconditions for Bulgaria to become a factor in the energy sector and to receive profits, but this opportunity was not used. It all depends on the level of ambitions and on having the capabilities and the ability to be able to satisfy these ambitions, and at the moment we see neither of these, the President said and raised the question whether someone would hold the government accountable for the lost benefits for Bulgaria. The President gave an example of how our country was able to sell liquefied gas to Hungary as a result of the contract with Botas and the memorandum signed between Bulgargaz and Hungary's MVM CEEnergy. Following the introduction of the energy contribution, Hungary is now in the process of concluding a contract with Botas.

In connection with the final abolition of the so-called derogation, which allowed Bulgaria to work with Russian oil, the President said that measures should be taken to prevent fuel prices from skyrocketing. He pointed out that there was an economic risk of such a trend given the repeatedly increased fees for tankers to pass through the Bosporus and the changed supply routes.

The President also held a meeting today with Moldovan Prime Minister Dorin Recean, at which he expressed support for Moldova's European integration, but hoped that the country's institutions would strictly respect the agreements at the highest political level to preserve the integrity of the Taraclia region.

 

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