Bulgaria Wants Part in US European Missile Defense
Bulgaria will request participation in the US missile shield in Europe as soon as all parameters of the system become clear, Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Vesela Cherneva, announced Tuesday.
Cherneva further pointed out the exact details of Bulgaria's inclusion will become clear when the US reveal the location of the missile defense system and its elements, adding it would not be wise for Bulgaria to not be active in the process.
The country's position on plans to deploy US interceptor missiles on Bulgarian soil was presented by Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, during the meeting of US President, Barack Obama, with leaders from Central and Eastern Europe in Prague on April 8.
Borisov said that Bulgaria and all countries in Eastern Europe lack any protection and abilities to react and even the nuclear power plants are unprotected.
“The question about Bulgaria's support for a new US missile defense system in Europe has not been officially posed, but when this happens, the Parliament will have the final say,” Borisov told Obama, stressing that Bulgaria must be the active partner.
Meanwhile, neighboring Romania announced that it would host interceptor missiles as part of a US missile defense system on its soil.
A US State Department official has said earlier the facilities in Romania are to become operational by 2015 and are designed as protection against "current and emerging ballistic missile threats from Iran."
The planned deployment in Bulgaria and Romania comes after US President Barack Obama scrapped plans for a radar and interceptor missiles in the Czech Republic and Poland, which Russia fiercely opposed as a national security threat and a blow on its nuclear deterrent.
The plans have drawn sharp criticism from Moscow, where officials described the earlier project to base radar and missiles in the Czech Republic and Poland as a threat to Russia.
Washington says the missile shield is designed to protect against short- and medium-range missiles from Iran, and is not directed against Russia.
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