Nato’s collective defence guarantees Bulgaria’s national security, Borissov tells Stoltenberg

Bulgaria’s national security and defence are guaranteed only within the framework of Nato’s collective defence, Prime Minister Boiko Borissov told Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in a phone call, the government information service said on November 18.

Borissov and Stoltenberg spoke in the run-up to the Nato summit of heads of state and government to be held in London on December 3 and 4 and at which Bulgaria will be represented by President Roumen Radev.

Borissov said that, given today’s risks and challenges to the international security environment, Bulgaria views the unity of Europe and North America as more important than ever.

“For Bulgaria, the Transatlantic link is at the heart of our collective defence,” he said, according to the media statement.

Borissov praised the topics that will be the focus of the Nato Summit in London, addressing all key elements of the security architecture in the Euro-Atlantic area.

“I believe the decisions of the summit will further strengthen both the deterrent and defence capabilities and the Transatlantic link between Europe and North America,” he said.

Borissov noted that since the beginning of 2018, Bulgaria has successfully implemented the plan to increase defence spending by 2024.

“With the advance payment of 8 F-16V Block 70 aircraft, this goal is already achieved and by the end of this 2019, spending is expected to reach 3.1 per cent of GDP,” he said.

He told Stoltenberg that Bulgaria’s goals are focused on three main areas – increasing defence spending, modernisation and rearmament, and overcoming the shortage of personnel in the Armed Forces. The priorities are being actively worked on and in the coming years the implementation of the key modernisation projects (the acquisition of new combat aircraft, ships and combat vehicles) will continue, the statement said.

“Bulgaria will continue to support the Alliance’s efforts to achieve global peace and security. We consider our participation in Nato missions and operations a top priority and intend to maintain our commitment and contribution to them,” Borissov said.

He emphasised the role of joint military exercises, which contribute to improving the interoperability of the Bulgarian Armed Forces with that of other Nato member states.

Borissov and Stoltenberg also discussed strengthening Nato-EU co-operation, as it is the Alliance that underpins collective defence in Europe, the statement said.

“Only together, united in Nato, can we meet the challenges and threats to the security of our societies,” Borissov said.

Borissov and Stoltenberg were adamant that together the shared values ​​and principles must be defended – freedom, human rights, democracy, the rule of law, “which make us strong and capable”.

(Archive photo: Stoltenberg and Borissov in February 2019)



The Sofia Globe staff

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