UK’s Cameron praises Bulgaria for economic reforms, giving up Russian oil, gas

Visiting Sofia on February 14, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron congratulated Bulgaria on its economic reforms and on diversifying energy supplies to move away from using Russian oil and gas.

Speaking after talks with Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov and Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Maria Gabriel, Gabriel said: “We had important talks regarding Ukraine. Putin must see that he was wrong. Bulgaria shows its solidarity, as does the United Kingdom and many other countries.

He said that if Vladimir Putin is allowed to take over a country, he will not stop there, but will ask for more.

“We know we are right in the fight against this illegal aggression,” Cameron said.

He emphasised that the UK already has its package of 2.5 billion pounds sterling for Ukraine, but more importantly, the US Congress was to vote on approving US aid package for Ukraine today, which he called on Congress to approve.

UK was fighting not only against the Russian aggressor, but also on behalf of the whole world, Cameron said.

Speaking out against Russian disinformation, he said it targets the oligarchs, the media, the politicians and even the energy companies.

They also use the issue of migrants to make electorate feel negative, “so we have to emphasize the positive things that Bulgaria is achieving, and thus fight against disinformation,” Cameron said.

Denkov said: “At the centre of the talks was the war in Ukraine and the help that we must all provide.

“We share the opinion that Ukrainian troops are fighting for the future of Europe. This is not a national issue. This is a question that will predetermine historical events in Europe and on the world stage in the coming years and decades,” he said.

Gabriel said: “Speaking of our important strategic partnership and allies in Nato, I would like to highlight how important regional stability is for us.

“The main focus is the Black Sea. I am glad that we have extremely active and good cooperation to ensure the security of the Black Sea . The Black Sea is of strategic importance for Nato, Bulgaria and the United Kingdom”.

A statement by the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry after Cameron and Gabriel held talks said that the focus of the discussion was Bulgaria’s strategic position in Nato regarding the Eastern flank, security and stability in the Black Sea region and support for Ukraine – financial, military, humanitarian, diplomatic and political.

Cooperation in the fight against illegal migration and human trafficking were also cited as good examples of effective bilateral cooperation between Bulgaria and the UK.

“We highly value our excellent cooperation through the implemented joint police operations and joint investigation teams in the field of combating illegal migration,” Gabriel was quoted as saying.

Bulgaria and the UK will also build on their cooperation in the fight against disinformation and increasing resilience against hybrid threats, the statement said.

During the discussion, the two foreign ministers also emphasised economic cooperation with the United Kingdom – in the sphere of trade, investment, innovation and the expansion of business opportunities in high-tech industries.

“We have good examples, but it is important to continue to discover the potential for investment and economic cooperation,” Gabriel said.

The themes of innovation, science, education, artificial intelligence and high technology send a strong message to the new generation of innovators in both countries, she said.

“I welcome the UK’s association with Horizon Europe – the world’s largest science and innovation programme. This gives the scientific communities of both countries the opportunity to continue to build on a long-standing tradition of joint activity and common projects,” Gabriel said.

The Sofia Globe staff

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