Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Mariya Gabriel, announced Estonia’s support for Bulgaria’s bid to join the eurozone during a news conference on Friday. The declaration followed a meeting with Estonian counterpart Margus Tsahkna, who is on an official visit to Bulgaria at Gabriel’s invitation.

Reiterating Bulgaria’s goal to enter the euro area on January 1, 2025, Gabriel expressed gratitude for Estonia’s backing of Bulgaria’s Schengen bid. The meeting covered topics on the bilateral and Euro-Atlantic agenda, with Gabriel highlighting plans to continue efforts to abolish land border controls in 2024.

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of Bulgaria and Estonia joining NATO this year, Gabriel emphasized the traditionally good relations between the two countries. Estonia’s support for Bulgaria’s membership in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development was acknowledged, with Gabriel expressing gratitude and outlining Bulgaria’s ambition to complete the process within three years.

Cooperation in key areas, including digitization and e-government, was emphasized, with a focus on Estonia’s expertise in these fields. The discussion also touched on the interest of Estonian companies in investing in Bulgaria’s technology and innovation sectors. Cybersecurity was a notable point of discussion.

Gabriel thanked Estonia for its support in strategic areas such as energy, defense, and EU enlargement. Support for Ukraine was confirmed during the talks, with Gabriel affirming Bulgaria’s commitment to continuing its assistance to Ukraine.