Russian Railways subsidiary RZD International has signed a memorandum of understanding with Bulgaria’s National Railway Infrastructure Company to jointly develop a rail transport network between the two countries.

The deal is aimed at undertaking collaborative projects to enhance the Bulgarian and Russian rail transport systems, as well as increase passenger and freight traffic leveraging the two networks.

"The signing of this memorandum forms the basis for the development of closer relations between Bulgarian State Railways and Russian Railways."

As per the agreement, RZD International will construct new railway projects, modernise existing railway lines in Bulgaria and train Bulgarian professionals in specialist Russian railway study and research centres. Additionally, both countries will exchange technologies and experience in infrastructure construction, railway management, as well as information related to railway construction.

The latest agreement follows the memorandum of cooperation signed between Russian Railways and Bulgarian State Railways in Kazakhstan on 6 May. At the signing, Russian Railways president Vladimir Yakunin said that the agreement between the companies was a formalised intention to enhance cooperation in the field of rail transport.

Bulgarian State Railways CEO Kristian Krastev said: "The signing of this memorandum forms the basis for the development of closer relations between us and Russian Railways and aims to increase freight transport between the countries."

The partnership will mainly focus on using the rail-ferry service between the ports of Varna and Caucasus.