Georgian Prime Minister Discusses Digital and Energy Connectivity, Ferry Services in Sofia
Prime Ministers Boyko Borissov of Bulgaria and Mamuka Bakhtadze of Georgia met in Sofia on Tuesday to discuss digital and energy connectivity between their countries and a planned major increase in two-way ferry services. Borissov expressed Bulgaria's support for Georgia's accession to NATO and the EU.
The idea is that the twice-weekly ferry services should become twice-daily, Borissov said. For his part, Bakhtadze expressed his optimism that a new digital corridor will link the two countries in the near future and it will be a link between the East and the West.
The guest thanked for Bulgaria's support for Georgia's territorial integrity and its drive to join NATO and the EU. "Our relations with the EU have grown stronger, we are gradually getting closer together, and this helps my country," Bakhtadze said. He expects that Tbilisi will expand its opportunities as it advances towards EU and NATO membership.
Bakhtadze noted that 20 per cent of Georgia's territory is still under Russian occupation. He said: "My country is in favour of a peaceful solution to the conflict, but a tough stance on the part of the international community is essential for solving the conflicts and achieving peace."
According to Borissov, Georgia is far ahead of Ukraine and Moldova on the path to NATO and the EU. "Georgia is important to Bulgaria because it is across the Black Sea and goods are brought there to be sent to Bulgaria," he said. He noted that the planned increase of ferry services between Georgia and Bulgaria and the construction of the Hemus Motorway in Northern Bulgaria will restore the port of Varna to its former glory. The ferry expansion project will take between three and four months to prepare.
"Georgia produces a lot of energy from renewable sources which can be transmitted across the Black Sea to Bulgaria," Borissov also said.
The delegation headed by Prime Minister Bakhtadze includes Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani, Deputy Economy Minister Akaki Sagirashvili and the Chair of the Foreign Policy Committee in the Georgian Parliament, Sofio Katsarava. On the Bulgarian side of the talks are also Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva and Deputy Economy Minister Lilia Ivanova.