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PM Victor Ponta met Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski and Serbian Prime minister Ivica Dacic in Ruse


Romania's Prime Minister Victor Ponta on Friday extended an invitation to his Bulgarian and Serbian counterpart to create a group of institutional cooperation among the three counties patterned on the Visegrad Group.

'I have launched an official invitation to learn from and use expertise of others, namely to make our cooperation institutional. In my conversation with the two prime ministers, I mentioned the positive example of some countries. The Visegrad Group, as the group of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary is known, has been a model for regional institutional cooperation over the past 20 years. All four countries are European Union members, all four have a common stance that makes them stronger,' Ponta said at the end of a three-way meeting in Ruse, northern Bulgaria, with Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski and Serbian Prime minister Ivica Dacic.

He suggested that the Romanian city of Craiova become the meeting place for officialising cooperation among the three countries, arguing that Craiova is at equal distance from Bucharest, Belgrade and Sofia.

'I have taken a look at the map and I found, hopefully, the best place for us to meet at the level of the heads of government and officialise this relation among us. The city is situated at equal distance form Belgrade, Sofia and Bucharest. It is a city that I love a lot, Craiova. That is why I have launched the invitation already. We will meet as soon as possible in this formula of heads of government in Craiova to offcialise a group that represents the regional and European interests of three countries, a formal and institutional framework for cooperation,' said Ponta.

He voiced conviction that the creation of this group will benefit Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria, as 'they are three friend countries speaking in one pre-European, pro-stability voice.'

He explained that a group patterned on the Visegrad Group will be a win for the tree countries and speed up Serbia's integration with the European Union.


PM Ponta wants connections, joint projects between Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia


Prime Minister Victor Ponta on Friday declared himself in favour of more connections and joint projects between Romania, Bulgaria, and Serbia.

'We really need joint projects, economic projects in energy infrastructure, transportation infrastructure; we need these projects to be completed faster and better. Together with [Bulgarian] Prime Minister [Plamen] Oresharski we have inaugurated a bridge across the Danube, without forgetting that its building took 15 years. We need more connections between us, built faster, and this is possible through collaboration between the three countries,' Ponta said after a trilateral meeting with his Bulgarian and Serb counterparts in Ruse (northern Bulgaria).

Ponta also specified the possible source areas for the economic development.

'In the first place, from a closer economic relation between the three countries. I have supported and I will keep supporting Romanian companies willing to make regional investments in Bulgaria [and] in Serbia. Secondly, from attracting European funds, especially those specified in the Danube Strategy; thirdly, from our joint participation into large investment projects within the framework of the Economic Forum and the Economic Agreement between China and Central and Eastern European countries. These are concrete financing sources for projects; collaboration is necessary,' the Romanian premier explained.

Ponta mentioned that several ministers of his Cabinet have accompanied him in Ruse; he pleaded for holding such meetings 'as frequently as possible, and with concrete results.'


Ponta: Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria send positive message in region; democracy observance, needed in Ukraine


Prime Minister Victor Ponta on Friday underscored that Ukraine needs stability, democracy, and international law observance.

'Three countries in this region can give proof of friendship, collaboration, partnership and stability, exactly what is very much needed in the eastern part of Europe at this moment. I am obviously referring to what is happening in Ukraine, where there is need for stability, democracy and international law observance. Moreover, three friend countries, three countries that collaborate, that have consultations in all areas, such as Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania, give an extremely positive message to the entire region,' Ponta said in Ruse on Friday, after a meeting with Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski and Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic.

At the same time, Prime Minister Ponta congratulated Serbia's Government for having begun accession negotiations with the European Union and reiterated Romania and Bulgaria's support.

'We congratulate Serbia's Government for the huge steps it made in terms of beginning accession negotiations with the EU (...) We give Serbia guarantees that it is in Bulgaria and Romania's interest for Serbia to become as soon as possible a full member of the EU. We shall give all the necessary support, we shall share our experience. (...) We very much need common projects - in economy, infrastructure, energy and transport. We need these projects to be done sooner and better. We need more connections among us and this can be done through the collaboration of the three countries,' Ponta also said.