Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva met her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on October 21 while at a visit to Moscow, the first by a Bulgarian foreign minister to the Russian capital city since 2011.
The debate between the two touched on a number of issues, including energy, cultural relations, and tourism, with Lavrov told reporters later that Russia was satisfied with the “initiation of political dialogue” in 2019, which encompassed a visit by Russian prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to Sofia and Bulgarian President Roumen Radev’s visit to the St. Petersburg economic forum, where he had talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The “common work to progress political dialogue” has caused in strengthened trade and economic relations, Lavrov stated.
As is often the circumstance in high-level talks between Russia and Bulgaria, the two ministers deliberated the energy sector, with Lavrov once again reiterating Russia’s readiness to partake in the search for a strategic investor for the Belene nuclear power plant, a process that is currently underway, through the state nuclear establishment Rosatom.
The ministers also deliberated on the onshore delay of the TurkStream gas pipeline, where Bulgaria is now undertaking work to increase its natural gas grid volume to take on increased transit gas flows.
Other areas deliberated by Lavrov and Zaharieva included cultural relations, the view of increasing transport relations by reopening a ferry line in the Black Sea, and tourism.
Zaharieva invited Lavrov to visit Bulgaria, an offer that the Russian foreign minister stated he accepted. Asked by reporters if that could lead to a visit by Putin to Bulgaria, which had been proposed earlier this year, Lavrov said that should such a chance arise. It would be taken.