(DF) President Radev Confers with US Secretary of State Blinken by Telephone

June 11 (BTA) – President Rumen Radev spoke by telephone with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Radev’s Press Secretariat reported here on Friday. The conversation, held on Blinken’s initiative, focused on the strategic partnership between Bulgaria and the US, the sanctions imposed under the Global Magnitsky Act against Bulgarian natural persons and companies, cooperation in security and defence, recovery after the coronavirus pandemic and the Republic of North Macedonia’s European integration. President Radev described the sanctions imposed under the Global Magnitsky Act as a strong sign of support for the Bulgarian citizens’ efforts at reinforcing democracy, justice and transparency. Blinken is quoted as saying that this is the US’s contribution to the fight against corruption, as well as a reinforcement of democracy and encouraging to the potential of Bulgarian economy. President Radev has valued highly the bilateral partnership in defence, urging for enhancing industrial cooperation in this field. The long-lasting partnership in modernizing the Bulgarian Army was underscored as well, including through the introduction of modern military training models. The US Secretary of State has noted Bulgaria’s contribution to the NATO 2030 strategy. Radev underscored during the conversation Bulgaria’s ambitions to use EU funds under the Recovery and Resilience Plan to decisively modernize this country, calling for increase of US investments in areas with high added value, such as information technology, science and education. The European perspective of Albania and the Republic of North Macedonia was also discussed. Blinken expressed expectations that the European integration process of Bulgaria’s southwestern neighbour will be sped up. The two have agreed that this is in the interest of the region’s and Europe’s stability and security. Radev has recalled Bulgaria’s consistent support for the Republic of North Macedonia’s EU membership, calling for achieving sustainable and irreversible results when it comes to building goodneighbourly relations, as well as for the strict observance of the Copenhagen criteria, which will accelerate the process of the EU’s adoption of a negotiating framework for North Macedonia. RY/MY