Author`s name Pravda.Ru

Russian, Bulgarian leaders to discuss international issues

At their meeting in Moscow, Russian and Bulgarian presidents will continue the sincere and trustful exchange of opinions on pressing international issues, and on co-ordinated efforts within different international organisations, including the OSCE, where Bulgaria will be presiding in 2004.

A RIA Novosti source in the Kremlin reported this, recalling that the official visit of the Bulgarian president to Russia would be held on July 6-8.

"Under discussion will be principled approaches to European and regional security, developments in the Balkans, Afghanistan, the dialogue between the EU and Nato, anti-terrorist steps and counteraction to other global modern threats and challenges," the source said.

The Russian and Bulgarian presidents will also discuss practical interaction between the two countries in promoting a series of promising facilities in the fuel and energy sphere.

"On the agenda will be Russia's plans to privatise large facilities of the Bulgarian energy sector, rent or run some thermo-power stations, increase Russian gas deliveries to Bulgaria and its transit to the neighbouring Balkan countries," the source said.

Moreover, at issue is Russia's participation in the construction of a new Bulgarian nuclear-power station in Belena and the Trans-Balkan oil pipeline Burgas-Alexandrupolis.

The source said that the sides intended to analyse reasons hampering economic co-operation and map out ways of their elimination.

According to the source, the first session of the business forum envisaged by the joint declaration of the Russian and Bulgarian presidents On Further Development of Friendly Relations and Partnership between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Bulgaria as of March 2, 2003, will be held on the sidelines of the visit.

The two heads of state will pay particular attention to boosting the cultural and humanitarian segment of bilateral relations, including practical aspects of the Russian-Bulgarian public forum and priority tasks of the forum of Slavic cultures.

The source added that the programme of Bulgarian President Georgi Purvanov's visit to Russia included his trip to St. Petersburg.

The source also said that this visit timed for the 125th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations continued the tradition of regular contacts between the Russian and Bulgarian leaders. In 2003, the source recalled, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a state visit to Bulgaria, and the Bulgarian president visited Russia three times within a year.