Bulgarian President Rumen Radev and his Hungarian President Katalin Novak met in Sofia on Thursday to discuss areas of mutual concern for the two countries. At a joint press conference following the meeting, the two leaders shared their concerns over the developments in the war in Ukraine.
“We share a common concern about the development of the Ukrainian situation,” Radev told reporters. “This conflict is escalating into a global economic clash, which now threatens all of Europe. It is turning into a war of attrition, not only for the parties directly involved but also for Europe, for our economy and social system. We are convinced that a solution to this conflict cannot be achieved by increasing arms supplies, only by showing the willingness to engage in dialogue and diplomacy. Tensions must be de-escalated, and hostilities must cease.”
In turn, President Novak stated, “The crisis has been going on for a year now, and unfortunately, we do not yet see the conditions for peace in Ukraine. But we need to work so that the crisis and military pressure do not escalate further and so that the conditions for a sustainable peace can be created as soon as possible…. We’ll do everything possible to prevent further escalation of the war.”
The two leaders also discussed bilateral energy cooperation, agreeing to work together on energy supplies and pointing to the importance of developing nuclear energy. “Bulgaria should join the Schengen Treaty as soon as possible, said Hungarian President Katalin Novak after her meeting with President Rumen Radev.
The Hungarian President also stated that “Europe made a bad choice and a bad decision by blocking Bulgaria and Romania from entering Schengen.”
Radev thanked Hungary for its support for Bulgaria on this issue, and for advocating for fairness and stronger border control within the EU. “This is a priority for Bulgaria,” the Bulgarian President told the media. “We are working intensively at all levels of diplomacy, and we met all criteria a long time ago, and I believe that with the support of Hungary and all our partners in the EU and the European institutions, we’ll be able to join Schengen this year.”