Full-scale cooperation with Russia is an important political goal of Bulgaria's foreign policy, said Bulgaria's foreign minister Solomon Passy. In an interview with the Sofia-based Business Review newspaper Friday, he said that Bulgaria has no problems with Russia, that cannot be resolved. According to the minister, Sofia does not only promote intensification of inter-state, inter-parliamentary, political, economic and cultural ties with Moscow, but applies this line to practice. In February, Sofia will host a regular session of the inter-governmental Bulgaria-Russia commission on trade-economic and scientific-technical cooperation. The session will consider a whole range of pressing issues related to Bulgaria-Russia economic relations, noted the Bulgarian minister. In his words, the major problem facing Sofia is to overcome a slowdown in trade turnover with Russia, and, first of all, the balance negative for Bulgaria. In 2000 Russia's exports to Bulgaria amounted to 1.58 billion dollars, and Bulgaria's exports to Russia stood at a mere of 118.7 million dollars. Nearly 90 percent of Russia's exports to Bulgaria comprise energy supplies and raw materials.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea
President Vladimir Putin has not released an official statement yet about his position on the issue of the pension reform in Russia