PM Calls for Drills at Bulgaria’s Borders with Greece, Macedonia
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov called for conducting joint military and police trainings at the borders with Greece and Macedonia in order to assess the country’s capacity in dealing with a heightened migrant pressure.
At the meeting of the government on Wednesday, Borisov ordered the defence and interior ministers to hold such trainings, which would allow servicemen and border policemen to coordinate their actions on countering the migrant pressure in the border regions.
The deployment of the army to the border became possible after the parliament had approved amendments to the Defence and Armed Forces Act last week.
The amendments allow the army to guard the border against the migrant influx on an equal footing with border police.
Defence Minister Nikolay Nenchev said that such trainings had already been planned.
Borisov advised the inclusion of the foreign minister, reminding that Bulgaria has the right to return to Greece and Turkey migrants who had entered illegally the country.
According to a readmission agreement, Bulgaria can return migrants who have not entered through the checkpoints.
The aim of the trainings is to reassure people in the border regions in the capacity of the country to deal with a heightened migrant pressure.
The prime minister adds that the finance minister should also have readiness to allocate additional funds.
Borisov noted that in the event of a large wave of migrants entering the country, Bulgaria should have the capacity to hold them at one point rather than allow them to disperse.