February 25, 2014

President of the Republic of Bulgaria in Official Visit to Montenegro
The President of Montenegro, Filip Vujanović welcomed today in Cetinje the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev with highest state and military honors.

After the official meeting, Presidents Vujanović and Plevneliev held a press conference.

President Vujanović expressed his great pleasure over the official visit of the President of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev to Montenegro in these two days. He said that they had, as in previous meetings, very open, constructive and, above all, friendly talks, noting that the relations between our two countries are friendly, close and very substantial. “In terms of the state, I would say, at national level, therefore, very intensive communication between the Governments, intensive communication between the Parliaments as well as my very frequent meetings with President Plevneliev that are always friendly and very dear to me. We stated that the focus should be placed on economy and integration. On economy, in terms of opportunity for better economic cooperation between the two countries. Our two countries have many things that are compatible in economy, and this should be used to link commercial and economic resources. We talked about the need for air connection between Sofia and Montenegro, of the need for maritime line between the Black Sea ports of Varna and Burgas, and Bar, as well as of the need to increase the volume of foreign trade which is low. Also, to stimulate people both from Montenegro and Bulgaria to make tourist visits.”

The President announced that, during tomorrow’s day, the President and representatives of the Chamber of Economy will organize a meeting, at which they will call their friends from Bulgaria for better cooperation, since there are conditions for it.

The President pointed out that he talked with President Plevneliev in detail about integration. Bulgaria is the member state of the European Union and NATO, this year is ten years of being in NATO. He stated his expectation from our friends from Bulgaria to support our NATO integration, which is very important for us, and this autumn the Summit will be held in Great Britain. He said that he informed President Plevneliev of which and what standards we achieved, and that we received positive assessments from all those who assess the values and standards, and that it would be worthwhile and important both for Montenegro and region as well as for NATO, to get the invitation for membership at the upcoming Summit. “Aware of great influence, reputation and value of the President of Bulgaria and his very active diplomacy, I stated that our expectations from them, as our friends, are to support this integration, and here I received the assurances that President Plevneliev will do it. We have also talked about regional issues, we shared views that our and Bulgarian public know, and noted that we need to do everything as our region will be more prosperous using its values and wealth”, President Vujanović said.

The President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev thanked for a warm welcome, great hospitality and sincere friendship, as well as for the trust that binds us already for centuries. “Between the two countries, the relations are at the highest possible political level. As President Vujanović and I are close, so our peoples are close. We are connected by common future; we seek prosperity and development for our nations, but also for the region as a whole. The European integration is a driving force of the development and progress. Bulgaria will be advocate of Montenegro; it will work on your faster and better integration, also on international level. Bulgaria knows very well what the EU and NATO membership means. If you look at the economic development and investments in our country, if you look at the number of tourists, if you look at the money that is invested in health, agriculture, education, pension funds, I want to say our friends here that they have increased three times in the integration process. I am grateful to our Bulgarian politicians who made this wise decision for Bulgaria to join the EU and NATO”.

President Plevneliev wished Montenegro to achieve these results and to reap the benefits of it, because that will lead to stability in the region. This is the only prerequisite for economic prosperity. He said that we have many joint projects to implement together, such as improvement of transport infrastructure, connectivity in the region, connectivity in terms of transport, energy, roads, business delegations, joint ventures companies, production… Also, that he will encourage Bulgarian companies to enter the market of a country, friendly to us, and prosperous country such as Montenegro, to invest and to increase their participation in the region. “I want to say that my schedule is very rich this year and that our primary task is to work on better integration of the states of our region. Bulgaria and Montenegro will be driving forces of positive development, regional cooperation, friendship and creation of our common prosperity in the region, as well as of our common good in our common home”, President Plevneliev emphasized.

Journalist’s question: Please, tell me - MontenegroÈs accession to NATO - what would it mean for you and what would it mean for Montenegro and for the state’s position in your country?

Answer of President Vujanović: President Plevneliev has already stated the benefits of NATO. So, not only in the security sense. We heard information that the macro - economic indicators for the last ten years in Bulgaria increased two or three times. People simply live two or three times better thanks to the integration. Bulgaria is even more attractive and appealing, and because it is a NATO member, it is also safer, and more economically secure, and more interesting for all investments, it will be same for Montenegro. Our economic environment will increase, placing investments is easier, greater guarantees are issued, credit rating becomes better, and the possibility of overall life will be lifted to a higher level. We are very grateful to President Plevneliev and Bulgaria who understand that the need of Montenegro to be part of NATO is really our strategic need, and that it is the need of our region. It is to contribute to the greater security of the region, but also to higher economic quality of life and better political image.

Answer of President Plevneliev: Membership in NATO means security. Without security there is no investment. When there is security, foreign investors come and create good paying jobs. NATO is a prerequisite for economic growth and development of the population. And just another figure, which I forgot to tell my friend, the President, in 2002 when Bulgaria was on its final track to become a member of NATO, the Bulgarian national debt was 100 % of gross domestic product. ItÈs a huge debt. Ten years later it was 16%. From 100% to 16%. Simply, foreign investments, jobs, more taxes, more budget for the government, more money, including salaries, education, pensions and the repayment of debts. I am convinced that if we had not guaranteed the safety and stability to investors through membership in NATO, the macro - economic indicators of Bulgaria would have been much worse.

JournalistÈs question: In which arguments and how Bulgaria will support Montenegro in front of third parties NATO?

Answer of President Plevneliev: The first argument, look at Ukraine. Make own conclusions on what is happening there. If the EU leaders had made a fundamental decision, not how it was gone with a list of one hundred certain conditions and circumstances, we would not have suffered the failure we saw in Ukraine at the end of November and whatÈs going on. The conclusion is: take concrete decision, bearing in mind that we have a historic opportunity. The historic opportunity not only for Montenegro, but for our home, for the Balkans, for South East Europe. Another very strong argument - the only part of the Adriatic coast that is not covered by NATO is exactly the Montenegrin part. Below, there is Albania, which is a member of NATO, the above is Croatia. It is worthwhile to consider, isn’t it strategically important for NATO. And, to have complete control over the Adriatic region. Because, on the other hand, Bulgaria and Romania guarantee stability in the Black Sea. I have meetings in Vienna, Berlin, Brussels, London, where I will appeal and will work on how to take now a politically courageous decision as quickly as possible. It is important for NATO too, because NATO needs to demonstrate its vision as a system that is open to integration.

JournalistÈs question: When will you call local elections?

Answer of President Vujanović: I have put it in my statement, stating the last dates and the last option to schedule elections. So, the last dates when the elections can be scheduled are 24 and 25 March.

JournalistÈs question: Will you sign the recently adopted Law on Financing of Political Parties?

Answer of President Vujanović: I signed the Law. On Friday, I signed all laws concerning the election kit and Law on Financing, in which I have found no collision of internal regulations, and in accordance with my obligation, I signed the Law that has no internal collision, but we will see how it will go through the Constitutional Court.

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