MOSCOW (Sputnik) — No momentary political developments can take away the lasting friendship between Russia and Bulgaria, Bulgarian Ambassador to Russia Boyko Kotsev said Thursday.
"Our relations have 14-century-old history of friendship. These relations have been tested by time, and no opportunistic event today can take them away from us," Kotsev said in Moscow at a remembrance ceremony for Russian soldiers who died during the Siege of Plevna in 1877.
The ambassador noted that the great feat and sacrifice of the Russian soldiers and officers "opened the way for the liberation of the Bulgarian people from the centuries of Ottoman rule and to the restoration of the Bulgarian state."
Relations between Russia and the EU states, including Bulgaria, went downhill in 2014, when they joined Washington in accusing Moscow of fueling the Ukrainian crisis, imposing economic sanctions as a punitive measure. The Russian authorities have refuted the allegations, warning that the Western sanctions are counterproductive.
In response to the Western restrictive measures, in August 2014 Russia announced a one-year food embargo on products originating in states that imposed sanctions. The ban has since been extended for another year.