YALTA, August 17. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Bulgaria's membership of NATO did not mean Moscow would break off relations with Sofia.
Bulgaria's accession to NATO is an accomplished fact, Putin said, noting that Moscow was not actually in any way concerned about it.
"I don’t know whether Bulgaria itself is happy with it. But the decision has been made. This is a sovereign choice of the Bulgarian people and we respect it and will cooperate with Bulgaria, despite all difficulties connected with implementation of some projects, including energy projects such as South Stream," the president said, recalling that Sofia had suspended work on Gazprom's South Stream gas pipeline after pressure from the European Commission.
"This does not mean we will not develop relations with Bulgaria," Putin said.