Ukraine is interested in deepening bilateral relations with the Republic of Bulgaria and looks forward to consolidating efforts in this direction.
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal announced during a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister for Judicial Reform, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria Ekaterina Zaharieva taking place on Friday, September 18.
The parties raised issues of strengthening economic cooperation, military-technical cooperation, development of transport and tourism.
The Head of the Government of Ukraine noted that the trade turnover of 2019 between the countries had exceeded USD 1 billion. Therefore, efforts should be united to overcome the negative effects of the pandemic and to restore bilateral trade volumes.
Denys Shmyhal accentuated among the important instruments of bilateral cooperation in the economic sphere is Joint Ukrainian-Bulgarian Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation.
"Unfortunately, the last time the commission was summoned 10 years ago, so we have to resume its work. Holding regular meetings of the Commission will contribute to the further growth of bilateral trade and investment cooperation between our countries," said the Prime Minister.
Denys Shmyhal and Ms. Ekaterina Zaharieva agreed to hold a Ukrainian-Bulgarian business forum in Sofia in 2021. A meeting of the Joint Ukrainian-Bulgarian Intergovernmental Commission to take place within the framework of the forum.
During the meeting, the parties also discussed the prospects for the development of the transport and tourism industry, which was negatively affected by the spread of COVID-19.
Denys Shmyhal and Ms. Ekaterina Zaharieva agreed to set up a joint intergovernmental working group on tourism development. Ekaterina Zaharieva expressed readiness of Bulgaria to implement joint projects in the field of transport infrastructure together with Ukraine.
For his part, the Prime Minister noted the importance of launching an international checkpoint across the state border for ferry, passenger and freight services between Orlivka (Ukraine) and Isaccea (Romania).
"This will allow the countries to increase the flow of tourists and expand business contacts between our countries as well as to provide an opportunity to improve direct road transportation. It is also crucial to make efforts to sign an agreement simplifying the conditions of transportation of goods in the direct international railway-ferry connection Chornomorsk Sea Port – Varna Ferry Complex", said the Prime Minister.
In turn, Ms. Ekaterina Zaharieva noted that Bulgaria supports Ukraine's aspirations for integration with the EU and NATO. She expressed gratitude for the preservation of the Bolgrad district and its community, which plays an important role in the development of bilateral relations.
Denys Shmyhal thanked Ms. Ekaterina Zaharieva and the Republic of Bulgaria for their consistent support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, the course towards European and Euro-Atlantic integration.