Beginning of Meeting with President of Bulgaria Georgi Prvanov 2007-06-24 12:40:55 Zagreb, Croatia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, Mr President, I would like once again to offer my sincere greetings and say how pleased I am to have this chance to meet with you once more. Our relations are developing well and very steadily in all areas of cooperation. Bilateral trade is growing: Russia is now in strong second place among Bulgaria’s trade partners, and this also covers work together in investment, infrastructure projects and, of course, the energy sector. We are happy with the way work on the Burgas-Alexandropoulis project is progressing. All the countries involved – Bulgaria, Russia and Greece – have ratified the relevant documents. Now we need to take the next step and establish the necessary companies. We also have other major infrastructure projects to examine and I hope that we will have the chance to discuss all of these matters today. Georgi Prvanov: Mr President, I am very pleased that this forum has given us the chance to meet. I share your positive assessment of our dialogue and our relations over these last years. What is most important is that this dialogue is helping us to expand our cooperation in all different areas, especially in the economy. As is tradition when we meet, I would like to begin with a few words about our spiritual and historical heritage. This year marks 130 years since the beginning of the Russian-Turkish war of liberation. In Bulgaria, we are preparing for large-scale celebrations to mark this event. I am sure that all of our institutions will cooperate well in this work and that we will mark these celebrations together. We are sure that a good political climate encourages trade, economic progress and investment. In this respect, I consider many of the Russian investment projects in Bulgaria to be successful. But first of all, I would like to note the good relations our countries have in the energy sector. Over the last few months we have accomplished what we were unable to do for long years on the Burgas-Alexandropoulis project. We are very pleased with the work our ministries and agencies involved in this matter have done to achieve these results.