Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has told visiting Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov: “I dream that we will sit together in a car, either in Varna or in Odessa, and in three to four hours, we will arrive”.
This is according to a statement by the Ukrainian President’s office, after Poroshenko and Borissov held talks in Odessa on October 5.
The two discussed the modernisation of the road from Odessa through Bolgrad to Reni at the border with Moldova, and, in the long run, continuing the road as a transport corridor to Varna and Sofia, the statement said.
Poroshenko said that the visa-free regime had brought the two countries closer, and already in 2018, more than 300 000 Ukrainians had visited Bulgaria.
He also highlighted the 46 per cent increase in trade turnover between Ukraine and Bulgaria.
Poroshenko “noted the importance of conducting an intergovernmental commission, which will further address the economic, social, cultural and political ties between the countries,” the statement said.
He expressed thanks to the EU for providing macro-financial assistance and prolonging sanctions against the Russian Federation during the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2018.
He also noted the introduction of direct flights from Odessa to Bulgaria and direct rail connections from Lviv to Bulgaria.
The Bulgarian government media office quoted Borissov as saying that Ukrainian citizens of Bulgarian origin would “always be a bridge of understanding and co-operation between the two countries”.
Borissov and Poroshenko expressed high appreciation for the traditional friendly relations between Bulgaria and Ukraine, which are based on strong historical, cultural and linguistic ties, the Bulgarian government statement said.
“The pro-European orientation of Ukraine, as well as the shared Euro-Atlantic values, further strengthen these relations and provide a basis for their further strengthening in all areas of mutual interest,” Borissov said.