President Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon.
Mr President, dear Bulgarian friends, I congratulate you on this significant date and great holiday – the 125th anniversary of the Liberation of Bulgaria.
In the history of each people, in the life of each people there are dates which forever remain in historical memory. And to them, of course, in Bulgaria and in Russia belongs the liberation of Bulgaria from the Ottoman yoke and the gaining of state independence.
The war of liberation, and the battles at Shipka and near Plevna are not only heroic events in the history of the Bulgarian people, not only the turning point in the struggle for independence. They are also vivid pages in the history of the Bulgarian fatherland and in the history of Russia. They are striking examples of the heroism of our soldiers and Bulgarian volunteers. Khristo Botev said that those who fall in the struggle for freedom, in the battles for freedom, do not die, but live forever in the hearts of the people. And in order to be worthy of the memory of our great ancestors, we, of course, must strengthen the relations of brotherly friendship that for centuries distinguished relations between Russia and Bulgaria.
Relying on all the best in our relations in the 19th and 20th centuries, we, of course, should think of the future.
I am confident that Russian-Bulgarian cooperation will be a weighty contribution to developing a united, prosperous, independent Europe. Of course, behind these beautiful, yet general, words we should not forget the main thing. And the main thing in our cooperation is that it should be directed toward the improvement of life, to the enhancement of well-being, to the improvement of the social condition of the ordinary Bulgarian and the ordinary citizen of Russia.
I congratulate you on this holiday and wish you happiness.
Long live Bulgaria!