Bulgaria is interested in the plans for the future development and management of the ports in Kavala and Alexandroupolis due to the blocked trade routes in the Black Sea as a result of Russia’s war against Ukraine, said President Rumen Radev in an interview with the Greek news agency ANA-MPA, the press office of the head of state reported. Radev is in Greece on the occasion of the 87th edition of the fair in Thessaloniki, in which Bulgaria also participates. According to the president, the ports of Kavala and Alexandroupolis enable the two countries to contribute to the transit of grain from Ukraine.
“Both Bulgaria and Greece have ambitions to increase their regional role in the field of energy, but the two countries are not competitors, but close, trusted and reliable partners,” said Radev.
The President noted the importance of the doubling of reserved capacity by Bulgaria at the liquefied gas terminal in Alexandroupolis, in which the country is a 20% co-owner, as well as the possibility for Greek companies to store natural gas in the Bulgarian gas storage facility in Chiren to ensure energy stability.
The president pointed to the project to create an oil pipeline from Alexandroupolis to Burgas, for which the two countries signed a study memorandum, as particularly important for increasing the region’s energy security. “On many occasions, I had the opportunity to emphasize that for Bulgaria the area of Alexandroupolis is of strategic importance with the liquefied gas terminal and the gas interconnector, the project to connect the Aegean and the Black Sea with a multimodal transport corridor, the creation of an oil pipeline between Alexandroupolis and Burgas and the future NATO oil pipeline, which will also start from Alexandroupolis,” said Rumen Radev.
The head of state added that all these strategic projects are also extremely important for Greece, because only through joint actions with Bulgaria can the country fully realize its potential in energy and transport.
Asked about the European perspective of the Republic of North Macedonia, Rumen Radev pointed out that, like Greece, Bulgaria has always been a driver of the European integration of the countries of the Western Balkans. He added that the solution to the problems in relations with North Macedonia lies in the implementation of the Copenhagen criteria for membership and in the respect of human rights.
“The European, not the Bulgarian requirements, clearly state that the RNM must amend its constitution so as to provide an opportunity for the Bulgarians to have constitutional protection and equal rights, by being included in the constitution on an equal footing with the other state-forming peoples in this country”, said Rumen Radev.