Bulgarian, Romanian prime ministers open new border checkpoint, sign co-operation memoranda

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov and his Romanian counterpart Mihai Tudose attended a ceremony to officially open a new border checkpoint between the two countries, which preceded a joint meeting of the Bulgarian and Romanian cabinets.

The new checkpoint between Kainardja in Silistra district of Bulgaria and Lipnita on the Romanian side is the fourth on the 150km of land border between the two countries. It is restricted to vehicles no heavier than 3.5 tonnes.

Speaking after the joint meeting of the two governments, Borissov spoke at length about further development of transportation links between the two countries, such as a second bridge over the Danube River between Rousse in Bulgaria and Giurgiu in Romania, which would speed up the border crossing for heavy lorries that now use the existing bridge there as the main crossing point between the two countries.

Borissov said that potential links discussed at the meeting included the prospect of a third bridge over the Danube – in addition to the existing ones at Rousse-Giurgiu and Vidin-Calafat – linking Nikopol in Bulgaria to Turnu Magurele in Romania, as well as the possibility of building a motorway linking Bulgaria’s two major Black Sea ports, Bourgas and Varna, to Romania’s Black Sea port of Constanta.

Tudose said that the two cabinets discussed infrastructure topics extensively, but pointed out that such links should not be an end in itself, rather “a means for the two countries to be competitive in Europe, to offer better investment prospects and improve the lives of our citizens.”

The two governments signed five co-operation memoranda – on social policy, re-affirming the protocol of re-admission of illegal migrants, on maritime shipping safety, on emergency electricity supplies in cases of disasters, and on economy and investment.

The two cabinets are scheduled to hold another joint meeting, this time in Bucharest, next month, Tudose said.

Later on October 3, Borissov will also host another meeting – joined by Tudose and the prime minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras, as well as Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic – to discuss strengthening economic and business ties between the countries.

(Tudose and Borissov at the news conference on October 3, following the joint cabinet meeting. Photo originally posted to Borissov’s Facebook page.)



The Sofia Globe staff

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