Nato stands by the principles of collective defence and will not allow aggression by a state against any ally, the alliance’s Deputy Supreme Allied Commander for Europe General Sir Adrian Bradshaw said at the start of a two-day visit to Bulgaria.
Russia’s actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine had demonstrated the readiness of Russia to begin a process of change in the sovereign borders of sovereign states by force, which was a major deviation from internationally accepted legal norms, Bradshaw said at a briefing on March 17.
“This would have implications not only for Bulgaria, but for all EU member states of the Alliance, particularly those of the eastern flank. We need to show clearly that we are steadfast in that we stand behind the provisions of Article 5. Our response so far has been entirely defensive and fully proportionate to the threat, but again it is necessary to assure our allies, especially those from the Eastern flank that we stand firmly behind the principles laid down in Article 5, the principles of collective defence and that we will not allow aggression by a state to any of our allies,” Bradshaw said.
He praised Bulgaria’s contribution that reflected the country’s firm determination and commitment to collective security, a Bulgarian Defence Ministry statement said.
Bradshaw expressed satisfaction with the plans and the preparedness of Bulgaria to implement the construction of a centre for joint preparation and training between the Bulgarian armed forces and those of Nato.
Bulgarian chief of defence Admiral Roumen Nikolov said that a Nato headquarters in Sofia would have personnel of 40, half Bulgarians and half from other Nato countries. He said that there would be a communication centre, and in Varna, a third centre, for the exchange of information among ships. The centre in Varna would be completed in 2016.
Joint exercises and preparations in the country were not linked to the implementation of specific military operations, but were connected to the main task of the armed forces, to maintain an efficient military, Nikolov said.
(Photos: Bulgarian Ministry of Defence)