Bulgarian President Rumen Radev has said relations with Russia are of strategic importance.

“I initiated the normalization of relations with Russia, which are of strategic importance not only for Bulgaria but for Europe as well,” the Bulgarian leader told reporters at a news conference in Sofia on Wednesday. “I believe that in 2018, when we celebrate 140 years since [Bulgaria] liberation [from the Ottoman rule during the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-1878], there is an opportunity to take the Bulgarian-Russian relations out of the ‘ice era’ they were in,” Radev said, summing the results of the first year of his performance as president.

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