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VARNA, September 24 (Itar-Tass) — The first Russian-Bulgarian public forum entitled “Spiritual Corridors. Bulgaria – Russia – European Union – 2011” opened in Varna on Saturday.
The forum is devoted to the 220th anniversary of the victory of Admiral Fyodor Ushakov over the Ottoman Fleet in 1791. The forum is held under the auspices of the Russian Embassy in Bulgaria, the Holy Synods of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, state and public organisations of both countries. Among speakers were Bulgarian Vice President Angel Marin, Russian Railways Vice President Oleg Atkov, Metropolitan Kirill of Varna and Velikopreslav, and other officials.
“Relationship between the Bulgarian and Russian peoples is a rare example in Europe and in the world because they run into millenniums. We should remember spiritual achievements of our peoples, support them and develop. Bulgarians and Russians are part of culture on the European space and it cannot exist without us,” Marin said.
“In the present-day world Bulgaria and Russia are close due to their spiritual relationship – common Slavic roots, Orthodoxy and writing,” the Bulgarian vice-president said. “Our people took responsibility for civilised prospects. When we were invited to take part in erecting a monument in honour of Russian sailors, we supported this initiative because it was very important for our states,” Atkov stressed.
In his written greetings message to the participants in the forum, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said, “I don’t doubt that our relations will develop. We should maintain friendship.”
The participants in the forum also discussed Russian-Bulgarian education programmes, Slav peoples’ contribution to the European cultural heritage and the Russian language as a significant factor in multi-cultural Europe.