PM Borissov: ‘Migration through the Bulgarian border is zero’
Bulgaria’s Prime Minister and its Border Police chief said on February 29 that there was zero migration through the Bulgarian border, statements that followed concerns that Turkey was allowing huge numbers of Syrian refugees to cross its borders into Europe.
Prime Minister Boiko Borissov had warned on February 28 of a real risk of large numbers of migrants crossing the Turkish border. After he spoke on the telephone with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a Bulgarian government statement said that “it had been clarified there was no direct threat to Bulgaria”.
Border Police chief Commissioner Svetlan Kichikov, speaking at a briefing at the Kapitan Andreevo border checkpoint, said that there was no migrant pressure “and we hope that there will be none”.
Overnight, there had been two attempts by small groups of people to cross the border, but this was nothing alarming, Kichikov said.
Gendarmerie and police from neighbouring regional directorates had been deployed to the border, he said.
The military had not been deployed but would be if necessary, Kichikov said.
The Defence Ministry said on February 29 that minister Krassimir Karakachanov had put on standby 300 army personnel and 50 from the joint special operations command to assist in guarding the state border, if necessary. The order was issued in response to a request from Interior Minister Mladen Marinov.
Karakachanov, accompanied by senior officers, carried out an aerial inspection of locations for the possible deployment of the Bulgarian army units, should they be required, the ministry said.
(Photo of gendarmerie at the Kapitan Andreevo border checkpoint on the morning of February 29: Interior Ministry press centre)