Vladimir Putin: Mr President, ladies and gentlemen,
Today we are taking part in a truly momentous event. The Days of Bulgarian Culture in Russia are opening here on the stage of the Bolshoi Theater.
I think it is not accidental, but symbolic that they have coincided with the 125th anniversary of Bulgaria’s liberation and the recreation of the Bulgarian state. This event is unique in its scale and quality. It merits being treated as a milestone in the life of our two countries.
I have no doubt and am absolutely sure that it will be as successful as the Russian Culture Days in Bulgaria which we opened in March this year, as the Bulgarian President has already said, in a fraternal country, a country that we all love.
I am sure that the Bulgarian Culture Days in Russia will attract great attention.
The friendship between Russia and Bulgaria has deep roots. This friendship and these roots show how the destinies of our peoples are intertwined. Many centuries ago the linguistic and cultural kinship lent a special character, a fraternal character to our relations. We have much to be proud of, we have much to remember, and we have a good future.
Today we are well aware that close human contacts between Russia and Bulgaria are a guarantee not only of our successful cultural cooperation. These contacts also provide a solid basis for bilateral economic and political interaction.
Today we can say that the decline in our relations that lasted almost ten years is coming to an end. In the new conditions we are finding new common ground and establishing good contacts. I would like to identify such key areas of our interaction as energy, science and education. I think tourism is likely to be another important area.
I am convinced that the experience and depth of our long-time links enable us to raise the level of partnership, to build it on a modern economic basis and make it part of the new European cooperation.
I think that the Bulgarian Culture Days will give Russian society a multidimensional and objective idea of modern Bulgaria. Everyone who attends these events – and I think each of them should be a landmark – everyone who attends these events in Moscow, Yaroslavl or Vladimir will discover his or her own Bulgaria – ancient and modern, in some ways similar to us, but very original and extremely multifaceted.
In conclusion I would like to offer heartfelt thanks to the Bulgarian leadership, the President of Bulgaria and all those who took part in preparing this major event, and the Bulgarian cultural workers.
Allow me to wish success and all the best to the organisers and participants in the Bulgarian Culture Days in Russia. We will always look forward to seeing Bulgarian cultural workers in Russia. We will look forward to new meetings, new experiences and new friends. Thank you.