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    PUTIN SENDS MESSAGE OF GREETINGS TO BULGARIAN PRESIDENT ON THE OCCASION OF NATIONAL HOLIDAY

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    MOSCOW, March 3, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Vladimir Putin has sent a message of greetings to Bulgarian President Georgy Parvanov on the occasion of Bulgaria's national holiday - the Day of Liberation from the Ottoman Yoke.

    The message of greetings, the text of which RIA Novosti received from the presidential press service, says in part:

    "We are satisfied that now, in full conformity with historical traditions, the Russian-Bulgarian relations are developing dynamically. Our political dialogue is progressing, appreciable practical results have been achieved, a favourable atmosphere of cooperation between our countries has been created, it is characterised by mutual respect, trust and the taking into account of each other's interests.

    "The meetings and negotiations at a high level in 2003 have given an important impulse to diversified cooperation between Russia and Bulgaria. The achieved results, the Joint Declaration on the Further Deepening of Friendly Relations and Partnership have fixed the new in principle quality of bilateral cooperation and outlined the contours of its development.

    "The further intensification of constructive cooperation will undoubtedly contribute to the joint celebration of the 125th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Bulgaria.

    "I am sure that the Russian-Bulgarian contacts will continue to grow stronger to a mutual advantage of our countries and peoples and in the interests of peace, security and stability in the Balkans and on the European continent as a whole."

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