Ukraine and Bulgaria have agreed to expand bilateral cooperation in the field of road transportation.
According to the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine, following a meeting of the mixed commission on international road transportation of goods and passengers, the parties agreed that in 2021 Ukrainian carriers will additionally receive 3,000 universal permits, of which 600 will be available at the points of issuance of permits starting next week. For 2022, the quota of permits has been increased by almost 25%, from 20,300 to 25,500. In addition, the universal permit form can be used for bilateral, transit and combined modes of transportation.
“The increase in the number of transport permits with Bulgaria is a good indicator of the development of our trade relations with the EU. We expect similar decisions from our other European partners. When we signed an Association Agreement with the EU in 2015, one of the key foundations for strengthening economic cooperation was that the dynamics of trade should not deteriorate. On the basis of this principle, the further policy of the Ministry of Infrastructure on international transportation will be formed,” Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Mustafa Nayyem is quoted as saying.
Ukraine has successfully evacuated from the Gaza Strip 109 citizens of Ukraine, 13 citizens of Moldova and four citizens of Bulgaria, they are in Cairo and will soon fly to Kyiv, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.
“The Gaza Strip. We have successfully evacuated 109 citizens of Ukraine, 13 citizens of Moldova and four citizens of Bulgaria. They are already safe in Cairo and will soon fly to Kyiv. Ukraine and Egypt have made great efforts to ensure the security corridor. The operation was postponed twice, but we made it,” Kuleba wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
He said that Ukraine was one of the first to successfully complete an international humanitarian mission to evacuate citizens of the three countries from Gaza.
“We never abandon our citizens and help our partners. I am grateful to Egypt and the entire Ukrainian diplomatic team for successful cooperation,” the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.
Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal says that Ukraine is interested in deepening bilateral relations with Bulgaria and expects to consolidate efforts in this direction.
“The parties discussed issues of strengthening economic cooperation, military and technical cooperation, development of the transport and tourism industry,” the government’s press service said following a meeting between Shmyhal and Deputy Prime Minister for Judicial Reform, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva.
The prime minister said that in 2019 the trade turnover between the countries exceeded $1 billion, therefore, in order to overcome the negative consequences of the pandemic and restore the volume of bilateral trade, it is worth joining efforts.
Shmyhal said that one of the important instruments of bilateral cooperation in the economic sector is the Joint Ukrainian-Bulgarian Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation.
“Unfortunately, the last time the commission was held ten years ago, and we must restore its work. The regular meetings of the commission will further increase the volume of bilateral trade and investment cooperation between our states,” the prime minister said.
Shmyhal and Zaharieva agreed to hold the Ukrainian-Bulgarian business forum in Sofia in 2021, and a meeting of the Joint Ukrainian-Bulgarian Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation is to be held within the forum.
In addition, during the meeting, the parties discussed the prospects for the development of the transport and tourism industry, which have been affected by the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) disease.
Due to that, Shmyhal and Zaharieva agreed to create a joint intergovernmental working group on tourism development.
For his part, the prime minister noted the importance of launching an international checkpoint across the state border for ferry, passenger and freight traffic between the settlements of Orlivka (Ukraine) and Isaccea (Romania).
“This will help to increase the tourist flow and expand business contacts between our states and will improve direct road communication. It is also necessary to make efforts to sign an agreement, simplify the conditions for the carriage of goods in direct international railway ferry service port ‘Chornomorsk-Varna’ ferry complex,” he said.
Ukraine and Bulgaria have agreed to expedite the opening of the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Sofia and the Bulgarian secondary school in Odesa, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.
“We are talking about more than 200,000 people and the largest Bulgarian community in the world. I want to state very clearly now that Ukrainian Bulgarians are part of the national wealth of Ukraine and an integral part of our society. We agreed with the colleague that we will resolve in a constructive spirit all issues related to education, both with the Ukrainian language in Bulgaria and the Bulgarian language in Ukraine. And today, in order for this process to become very practical, we have agreed and accelerate the opening of the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Sofia and the Bulgarian High School in Odesa,” said Kuleba at a joint briefing with the Bulgarian Foreign Minister in Kyiv on Thursday.
Kuleba also thanked Bulgaria for being a reliable friend and partner of Ukraine on the way to EU and NATO membership.
Earlier, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria Ekaterina Zakharieva also laid flowers at the Wall of Memory at the St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Cathedral, honoring the memory of the soldiers who died, defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
As of July 29, Ukraine can freely fly on vacation to the following six countries: Bulgaria, Turkey, Egypt, Albania, Montenegro and Croatia, Minister of Infrastructure Vladyslav Krykliy said on his Telegram channel on Wednesday.
He said that it is possible to get to Bulgaria only if there is a negative test for coronavirus (COVID-19) disease, made within 72 hours before arrival. In order to get to Croatia the travelers have to show mandatory negative PCR test at entry, made within the last 48 hours. He said that after visiting Montenegro, a 14-day self-isolation upon arrival in Ukraine is required.
According to the minister, entry and return to Turkey, Egypt and Albania are without restrictions.
Krykliy also said that a PCR test can be done before departure, right at the airport, namely, at Boryspil, Lviv and Odesa airports, as the PCR laboratories have been installed for quick testing.
“The data on entry changes every day depending on the epidemiological situation in the countries. Therefore, be sure to check the information before traveling,” he also said
The Health Ministry of Ukraine has released an updated list of states of the so-called ‘red zone’, after which it is necessary to undergo an obligatory observation or PCR-testing.
The ‘red zone’ includes the countries, where the incidence rate exceeds 40 per 100,000 of population.
The list still includes French Guiana, USA, Panama, Armenia, Oman, Belgium, Peru, Bahrain, Bolivia, Brazil, Honduras, Kuwait, Sao Tome and Principe, South Africa, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Dominican Republic, Northern Macedonia, Ecuador, Israel, Moldova , Equatorial Guinea, Russia, Cape Verde, Gabon, Colombia, Portugal, Chile, Belarus, Guatemala, Turks and Caicos Islands, Argentina, United Arab Emirates, Montenegro, Kazakhstan, France, Palestine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Seychelles, Luxembourg, Mayotte, Costa Rica, Canada, Singapore, Iraq, Mauritania, CAR, Maldives, Mexico, Bangladesh, Egypt, Guinea-Bissau, El Salvador, Pakistan.
Besides, Eswatini, Albania, Bulgaria and Czech Republic were also added to that list.
Suriname, Antigua and Barbuda, Haiti switched from the ‘red zone’ to the ‘green one’.
Ukraine also in the ‘red zone’ with 62.4 per 100,000 population.