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President Iohannis: Romania and Bulgaria need more connectivity

Romania and Bulgaria need more connectivity, president Klaus Iohannis said on Wednesday in Sofia, stressing that the Strategic Partnership signed by the two countries will advance transport infrastructure, navigability on the Danube and energy projects.

"From our discussions, the common desire emerged to use the new partnership framework to advance and complete major projects in the field of connectivity, in particular in terms of transport infrastructure and navigability on the Danube and energy. In this context, I underlined the importance of continuing the dialogue between our authorities in order to make faster progress in the implementation of the European FAST DANUBE project, given the role that ensuring navigability on the Danube has for both countries and the multiplied positive effects that it can generate, as well as that of infrastructure projects," said president Klaus Iohannis, on an official visit to Bulgaria, after the meeting with his counterpart Rumen Radev.

The Romanian president said he had agreed with the Bulgarian president that Romania and Bulgaria should give priority to pursuing those areas that correspond to their strategic interests in order to ensure their resilience, economic development and security.

Iohannis highlighted the substantial trade with Bulgaria, pointing out that in the first ten months of last year it amounted to around 10 billion euros.

"We will work together to better exploit the potential of economic and sectoral cooperation, as well as to diversify cooperation in sectors such as regional development and digitalisation," the Romanian president added.

According to him, Romanians in Bulgaria and Bulgarians in Romania are a bridge between the two countries' societies.

"In this regard, we are interested in continuing the dialogue on ensuring full conditions for the expression of their cultural, linguistic and religious identity," Klaus Iohannis said.

The talks between the two officials also focused on the EU's enlargement policy: "We reiterated Romania's support for advancing the enlargement of the Union, both with regard to the Western Balkans and to our Eastern partners. We highlighted, in particular, the support that Romania has given and will continue to give for the advancement of the European path of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. I would also like to stress the importance of the European Union and our partners' firm support for the stability and resilience of the Republic of Moldova in the face of the security challenges it faces. We also count on Bulgaria's support in this regard," president Iohannis added.

The head of state stressed the importance of coordination at European level in terms of the challenges on the energy market, in particular with regard to security of supply and strengthening energy independence.

"We have agreed to intensify our bilateral cooperation in order to identify new opportunities in the context of the energy transition, with a focus on green energy," Iohannis said.

The talks also covered the Russian aggression against Ukraine. "Romania is determined to continue its substantial and comprehensive multidimensional support to Ukraine, which will continue as long as it is needed," President Iohannis said.

He stressed that in the context of current security developments, Bulgaria is a key ally of Romania in NATO and a key partner on the Black Sea.

"I discussed with president Radev the intensification of bilateral security cooperation," the head of state added.

The upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius was also on the agenda.

"In July we will meet in Vilnius to assess the implementation of the decisions adopted in Madrid on the Allied posture and to agree on additional relevant measures to strengthen the security of the Allies and in particular of the Allies on the Eastern flank, with a focus on the Black Sea. I agreed today with President Radev that we need to work more and better together in order to maintain security and stability in the Black Sea, which is of strategic interest for the entire alliance," president Iohannis added.




Thursday, March 16, 2023