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Bulgaria admits Foreign Ministry report on State Duma speaker’s visit was improper

April 30, 2014, 19:39 UTC+3 MOSCOW

“The (Foreign Ministry’s) statement contains the postulations based on unverified data and misinterprets facts,” the chief of the Duma staff public relations department says

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© ITAR-TASS/Sergey Fadeichev

MOSCOW, April 30. /ITAR-TASS/. Bulgarian side has recognized an improper character of a report of the country’s Foreign Ministry on a visit of Russian State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin to Sofia, Yuri Shuvalov, the chief of the Duma staff public relations department told reporters Wednesday.

Bulgarian Foreign Ministry published a statement at its official website earlier Wednesday in connection with Naryshkin’s forthcoming visit to the country, initially scheduled for May 6 to May 8. It said among other things that Naryshkin had been subjected to restrictions introduced by the European Union, including a ban on entering and traveling by transit across the territories of EU member-states, as well as the freezing of financial assets.

Shuvalov said he had invited the Bulgarian ambassador in Moscow, Boiko Kotsev to the State Duma. “In the course of the conversation the Bulgarian ambassador agreed the report made by a representative of the Foreign Ministry in Sofia gave grounds for incorrect interpretations and was cry from the real course of negotiations between the speakers of Russian and Bulgarian parliaments,” he said.

“On the Bulgarian side, we heard a high and respectful assessment of the State Duma speaker’s activity and the conviction that the friendship of the Russian and Bulgarian people continued to play the role of a foundation for promoting relations between our countries,” Shuvalov said.

Earlier on the same day, Shuvalov expressed astonishment in connection with the aforementioned statement of the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry.

“Sergei Naryshkin’s visit was indeed planned for the beginning of May initially but it was then rescheduled for a later date upon mutual consent,” he said.

“However, we saw this ultimatum-like statement that contrasted sharply with the relations of partnership between our countries,” Shuvalov said. “The (Foreign Ministry’s) statement contains the postulations based on unverified data and misinterprets facts. It insinuates about the bank accounts of some kind that were allegedly blocked although Sergei Naryshkin never had them.”

“Such actions on the part of Bulgaria are highly regrettable,” Shuvalov said. He voiced the the Bulgarian side would consider the statement as an error that would be corrected.

“I hope the Russian Foreign Ministry will react to the fact appropriately,” he said.

In spite of the incident, “our attitude towards the fraternal Bulgarian people doesn’t change” and “we plan further active work and collaboration in all spheres, including the parliamentary one.

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