SOFIA, January 14 (Itar-Tass) - The European Union would also benefit from dynamic Bulgarian-Russian relations, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin said in an interview to Itar-Tass.
“Russia is the European Union’s strategic partner,” Vigenin said citing Russian-EU talks about cooperation and partnership and liberalization of visa regime. “These issues are also important for Bulgaria, so we are actively involved in the discussions and try to further the process.”
Speaking of bilateral relations, Vigenin noted concrete measures for wider Bulgarian consular presence in Russia, closer economic cooperation, and assistance to Bulgarian entrepreneurs in seeking partners in Russia and vice versa.
“We have been doing our utmost all the way. For us, relations with Russia should not be based on obsolete ideological stereotypes,” Vigenin said. “We now live in a different world and maintain different relations for the advantage of both Bulgaria and the EU.”
Like the U.S., Russia was a key partner for Bulgaria, Vigenin said.
“I would not consider these partnerships from a single perspective as these are relations of different kinds: in relations with the U.S. we are acting as part of NATO,” while relations with Russia were different but as strategically important, he said.