Bulgarian Foreign Minister: Russian aggression can lead to a new Cold War

The aggression of Russia in Ukraine is an attempt to impose unacceptable strategic choices that could lead to a new Cold War, Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov told a security conference in Sofia on November 13 2014.

Mitov told the conference, with those present including Nato Supreme Commander Europe General Philip Breedlove, that the conflict in Ukraine had breached the balance of forces in the Black Sea region and this affected Bulgaria.

In the context of the Ukrainian crisis and the changed balance of forces in the Black Sea, Mitov welcomed the initiative to boost Nato’s military presence in the region.

“The aggression of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, the violation of international law and redrawing the map of Europe in the 21st century, the generation of new frozen conflicts – all this is a direct provocation against European and Euro-Atlantic values. I do not exclude the danger of starting a new Cold War,” Mitov said, according to a report by public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television.

What is happening in the Black Sea region directly affects the national security of Bulgaria, he said.

“Note should be taken of the need to allocate significant time and resources to build key capabilities.

“The changed strategic environment requires even more significant strengthening of TransAtlantic relations by strengthening economic and military ties between the allies. Our interest, as Bulgaria and as part of the community, is to bet on energy diversification and energy independence from Russia.”

Mitov said that the crisis in Ukraine had given a clear sign of how important an open-door policy towards candidates for membership in Euro-Atlantic structures was.

He predicted that the candidates from the Western Balkans and the South Caucasus would be subjected to more pressure.

On the Middle East and North Africa, Mitov said that the expansion of conflicts in that region, including in Syria, Iraq, Libya, are a serious and immediate threat to the security of Nato.

He noted that at the Nato Wales Summit, the “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant” had been identified as a threat to the region as a whole.



The Sofia Globe staff

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