Bulgaria, Ukraine Presidents Agree to Renew Sofia-Kiev FlightsDiplomacy | July 7, 2015, Tuesday // 17:16| views
Ukraine's Petro Poroshenko (L) accompanies his Bulgarian counterpart Rosen Plevneliev (R) as they inspect a honor guard in front of the Presidential Administration building prior to their meeting, in Kiev, Ukraine, July 07, 2015. EPA/BGNES
Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko have agreed to resume flights between the capitals of their respective countries, media outlets report.
The development comes as President Plevneliev is on a visit to Kiev Tuesday and Wednesday, the first trip of a Bulgarian head of state to Ukraine in the past 12 years.
The two Presidents agreed that, with a ferryboat link between Bulgaria and Georgia now in place, the Southeastern European state has boosted its importance as an export destination for Ukraine, according to daily Standart.
They also shared the opinion that natural gas should not be used as a political weapon and that Ukraine in Bulgaria should "have the right" to carry gas from different sources through their infrastructures, instead of investing money into new pipes.
According to the news website Dnevnik.bg, Plevneliev stated that a three-way meeting of leaders of Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine is due "soon" to announce new joint investment projects.
Commenting on the developments in Crimea, which was incorporated by Russia in mid-March of last year, he said "Crimea is Ukraine, and Ukraine is Europe".
Ukrainian President Poroshenko for his part said that any gas pipeline project going around Bulgaria and Ukraine lacks "is devoid of economic logic".
He commended Bulgaria for the reforms it has carried out since it was hit hard by a crisis in the 1990s and said Kiev has much to learn from its experience.
His press office quotes him as telling Plevneliev: “Your visit is an evidence of our friendship, trust, reliability of our relations and demonstration of our personal friendship. We’ve met 10 times since the beginning of my presidency. The intensity of our meetings is very symbolic, because relations between our countries have never been at such a high level before.”
European and global security were on the agenda as Plevneliev and Poroshenko met, along with the situation in Ukraine and EU-Russia relations in view of the Minsk agreement.
Poroshenko voiced his belief that fair and transparent elections are the only way leading to compliance with the Minsk agreement.
"We can get new legal representatives of Donbass only via free elections," he is quoted as saying.
He also thanked Bulgaria for backing cooperation of NATO with Ukraine.
During their meeting a memorandum was signed on cooperation in education affairs.