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Greek-Bulgarian agreement connects Danube River with the Aegean Sea

Greece and Bulgaria signed a memorandum of cooperation to build rail connections between ports in Bulgaria and northern Greece. The agreement refers to the interconnection of the Greek ports of Alexandroupolis, KAvala and Thessaloniki with the Bulgarian ports of Varna and Burgas at the Black Sea as wells as with Ruse, a port on the Danube River.

An agreement signed by Greece and Bulgaria to build rail connections between ports in Bulgaria and northern Greece had “historic and geopolitical significance,” Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Wednesday, after the two countries signed a Memorandum of Cooperation. He was speaking during a joint press conference with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, who also announced plans to extend this cooperation to include Serbia and Romania in the future.

“This is a historic agreement for Greece and Bulgaria’s common course toward growth,” Tsipras said, adding that Greece’s co-operation with Bulgaria was crucial.

In the field of energy, “we are opening up new horizons for Europe’s energy map, as we rapidly proceed with the IGB pipeline,” the prime minister noted.

In the transport sector, “we are working together, with new opportunities and perspectives emerging for trade relations and the economic prosperity of both countries,” he added.

“It would not be an exaggeration to say that after the trilateral summit (Greece, Bulgaria, and Serbia) last July, there is the formation of a regional dynamic pivoting on the Greek-Bulgarian axis,” he said.

Tsipras said the government’s vision was to put the Balkans in the limelight, pointing out that the Balkans formed the eastern border of Europe.

“As it overcomes the economic crisis, Greece will play an important role. We want to have a positive role as a force of peace and stability, as a hub between three continents,” Tsipras stated.

Borisov said that if the infrastructure projects are completed, then the Aegean Sea could be linked to Ruse port (via Kavala port). “If this plan is implemented, Kavala could develop trade relations with Ruse and a large inland economy.”

In conclusion, he revealed that the discussion with Tsipras also touched on the possibility of Serbia joining and expanding the railway interconnection project at the Thessaloniki trilateral meeting (Greece-Bulgaria-Serbia), while adding that Romania could also join once the project was completed.

A relevant meeting is scheduled on October 3rd in Varna with the participation of Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania. – with info from and others

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