Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met today in Maximos Mansion with a Ministerial delegation from Bulgaria, which is paying a working visit in our country, led by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Assen Vassilev.
At the beginning of their meeting, Mr Mitsotakis and Mr Vassilev had the following dialogue.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis: Very good to welcome you. I made some comments on the situation on Ukraine and also pointed out that on the crucial issue of natural gas supply, we stand ready to support Bulgaria in any way possible to overcome what we expect is going to be a short term crisis. And of course we are working together to complete as quickly as possible the IGB Interconnector which we know is so important for Bulgaria, in order to allow you to diversify your natural gas supply. So again, welcome to Greece.
Assen Vassilev: Thank you very much for this so warm welcome. We are also very concerned about the crisis in Ukraine and the ensuing energy crisis. We believe that the International Law should be followed and it is currently being violated in a, I would say, very brutal manner. We are also willing to work with Greece and help in electric supply to make sure that there is no discontinuity. And also to prepare all the projects that we are looking to discuss in the G to G, which is south to north connectivity which is critical for the European region. Also, as you mentioned the connectivity in the energy systems and the closer integration of the energy systems, as well as several of the other projects that we have been discussing over the years, such as the final border crossings that we are hoping to complete, as well as making sure that the flow of goods and the flow of people is facilitated.
During the meeting, the exceptional level of Greek – Bulgarian relations, as well as the mutual will to further deepen these relations were underlined. It is noted that Kyriakos Mitsotakis was the first head of an EU Member State to pay an official visit to Bulgaria, following the formation of the new government and met with the new Prime Minister, Kiril Petkov, on December 20th 2021.
During today’s meeting, the Prime Minister underlined the opportunities for cooperation, arising from energy infrastructure interconnection projects, as well as from projects of transport and digital networks with added value, not just for Greece and Bulgaria, but for the wider region as well.
During the meeting, the common support for the European perspective of the Western Balkans was emphasized. The latest worrying developments in Ukraine were also discussed.
On the side of the government, the meeting was attended by Minister of State Akis Skertsos, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Economic Diplomacy and Openness Kostas Fragogiannis, Director of the Prime Minister’s Diplomatic Office, Ambassador Eleni Sourani, the Prime Minister’s Diplomatic Counselor Ambassador Anna – Maria Boura and the Deputy Government Spokesperson Aristotelia Peloni.
Mr Vassilev is accompanied in Athens by Deputy Prime Minister for Good Governance Kalina Konstantinova, Minister of Digital Governance Bozhidar Bozhanov, Minister of Energy Alexander Nikolov and the Head of the Prime Minister’s Political Cabinet Lena Borislavova, all of whom also participated in the meeting. Ambassador of Bulgaria to Greece Valentin Poriazov was also present in the meeting.