President Radev says Russia’s attack on Ukraine unacceptable, but ‘no direct military threat to Bulgaria’

Russia’s military operation in Ukraine is absolutely unacceptable, Bulgarian President Roumen Radev said on February 24, adding that there was no direct military threat to Bulgaria’s security, but there were risks.

“In general, the security situation in Europe and globally has changed completely,” Radev said after an emergency meeting he called of Bulgaria’s top state, government, military and intelligence officials.

The meeting was called in response to the military assault on Ukraine ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, with missile attacks on Kyiv and reports of Russian military forces crossing into Ukraine from Russia and Belarus.

“A full-scale conventional operation of the Russian Federation is underway with all possible forces and means to strike at critical infrastructure throughout Ukraine, which is absolutely unacceptable,” Radev said.

“It is unacceptable for bombers to fly and strike in Europe in the 21st century. At the moment, there is no direct military threat to Bulgaria’s security, but there are risks,” he said.

“We are currently assessing the risks related to air and sea routes, energy routes, the entire supply system. We will look for all possible options so that there is no interruption in the supply of oil, food and basic necessities,” Radev said.

Earlier on the morning of February 24, Bulgaria’s Defence Minister Stefan Yanev told bTV in an interview that Netherlands Air Force F-35 fighter jets, which had been expected to arrive in Bulgaria in April to assist in guarding Bulgaria’s air space, would arrive earlier.

It had not been decided precisely when the Dutch fighter jets would arrive, Yanev said.

Currently, Spanish fighter jets are assisting in policing Bulgaria’s air space.

Earlier in 2022, Bulgaria announced the formation of a new battalion battle group, emphasising that it would be under Bulgarian command, made up mainly of Bulgarian military personnel with some troops from Nato allies and had training exercises as its main purpose, with no intention of it being deployed outside Bulgaria.

(Photo of Radev:

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