The PMs of Bulgaria and Serbia eye the development of road and energy infrastructure with Romania

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Prime Ministers of Bulgaria Boyko Borisov and of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic said on Friday they were interested in the development of transport and energy infrastructure with Romania, including a highway linking the capitals of the three countries, given that a highway between Sofia and Belgrade is to be completed in 2016, Mediafax informs.

“My desire is to see a highway linking Bucharest to Sofia and Belgrade,” Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said while in Craiova, after a meeting with his Romanian counterpart Victor Ponta and with Serbian Premier Aleksandar Vucic.

The Bulgarian PM pointed out in this context that the highway connecting Sofia to Belgrade will be completed next year, allowing speeds of up to 160 km/hour. Borisov also said that his country is working on several highways such as Hemus and Struma, to connect Bulgaria to countries in the region, including Serbia and Romania.

According to Prime Minister Borisov, Bulgaria is involved in several projects to transport oil and gas resources from Asia or Russia, regional projects offering Romania the chance to exploit energy resources, such as the ones OMV will exploit in the Black Sea.

In turn, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said that he’s got Brussels’ go-ahead for a highway connecting Bourgas-Vrsac-Tim?oara and hopes works will start next year.

Vucic also noted the need for collaboration in projects concerning transport on the Danube, while Borisov has proposed that the next meeting of the “Craiova Group” to take place in Bulgaria, at Varna.

In the context of regional cooperation, earlier this week Bulgaria, Romania and Greece signed an agreement to start construction of the Vertical Gas Corridor, which will include Bulgaria’s gas interconnectors with Romania and Greece and will integrate networks to increase energy security and help all three nations receive gas from Azerbaijan in the future, novinite.com informs.

 

PM Ponta: Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia should accelerate energy infrastructure projects

 

Energy is the most effective “weapon” and the most important means of development and Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia should accelerate the energy infrastructure projects needed to ensure their safe energy for their economies at competitive prices, Prime Minister Victor Ponta said on Friday while in Craiova.

“Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania must accelerate energy infrastructure projects that allow us to be connected, to have access to European and world market,” said Ponta.

Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia could form a Craiova Group based on the model of the Visegrad Group to better promote their positions in Europe and their regional projects, Prime Minister Victor Ponta also said.

“Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania should be more coordinated and united than ever in all our approaches on the European level. We have an example of success of other neighbouring European countries – Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary – who, gathered in the Visegrad Group, were very efficient and are still very efficient in promoting their regional interests. I wish that today, in Craiova, we laid the foundations of an enhanced collaboration between Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania; if I may say so, in time, they could be the Craiova Group, just like the Visegrad Group: three countries deliberating, sharing positions, having joint projects and supporting each other,” Ponta said in a joint press conference with his Bulgarian and Serbian counterparts after a trilateral meeting in Craiova.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta stated on Thursday in Craiova, at the beginning of the joint Bulgarian-Romanian government session, that the two countries have better odds at success if they stand together, reaffirming that the possibility of entering the Schengen Area will become a reality if the two states work together.

“I want to thank especially Prime Minister Borisov, with whom I know very well that we agree on concrete and pragmatic projects, and I want to ask all the ministers to set up meetings, set deadlines for the projects that we have and to speak of a matter that I want to consider the most important of this meeting: I believe that Bulgaria and Romania have far better chances of succeeding in all the projects if they stand together, if we are separated we have very little chances, if we are together we will also enter the Schengen Area, we will fulfill the conditions of the CVM [e.n. — Cooperation and Verification Mechanism], we will have trans-border infrastructure projects, we will collaborate as we collaborate within NATO, all the things that we do together are more successful than those done separately. It is the main message that I want to send through the meeting today, to say that we have agreements on various domains, but the most important is the personal relation between the members of the cabinet and the fact that you were able to discuss and will continue to discuss about how to implement these projects together,” said Ponta.

After the end of the session, the two Prime Ministers have signed several documents: The convention between Romania and Bulgaria regarding avoidance of double taxation and prevention of tax evasion regarding income tax, the Intent Protocol between the Ministries of Economy of Bulgaria and Romania, the protocol between the Ministries of Internal Affairs of Bulgaria and Romania in the domain of radio communications, the cooperation plan between the Health Ministry of Romania, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Romania, represented by the IGSU [e.n.—Inspectorate General for Emergency Situations] and the Health Ministry of Bulgaria regarding cooperation in the domain of pharmaceutical policy and medical situations, as well as a joint statement regarding regional cooperation in the realm of energy.

 

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