Bulgaria to Pledge Army Budget Hike at NATO Summit
Bulgaria will make a commitment to increase army funding from 1.33% to 1.5% of the GDP, seeking to reach 2% of the GDP by 2020, according to President Rosen Plevneliev.
Plevneliev commented on the upcoming NATO summit to be held in Wales on September 4-5. Bulgaria’s head of state noted that the other NATO countries were expected to make the same financial commitment.
“We have to realize that it is not fair on our part to cut the military budget and to expect that somebody will come to defend us when the situation becomes difficult or critical. Bulgaria needs to make a contribution to stability and security too, using its skills and capabilities, and to invest in them,” Plevneliev declared in Brussels, according to the President’s press office.
“We hope that a stage of new sanctions will be avoided. We expect Russia to work for creating trust and for a de-escalation of tension and then there will be no extension of sanctions. However, if the situation keeps deteriorating, EU leaders are unanimous in their belief that we should continue with clear signals to Russia that its actions are inadmissible,” Plevneliev said, commenting on the debates on new sanctions against Russia during Saturday’s EU summit.
Bulgaria’s President declared that EU leaders were unwilling to resort to extreme measures in the case of Ukraine. “No weapons or troops will be sent, but the EU, having learned its lessons from WWII, is bound to act decisively and defend its values” he stated.
Plevneliev made clear that the Member States would carefully coordinate their activities related to a new set of restrictive measures against Russia over the coming week, adding that the sanctions could enter into force in 10 days, after undergoing thorough discussions.
He also informed that EU leaders had exchanged views on terrorist organization the Islamic State for the first time on Saturday.
“We shall cite this organization as a major source of instability and a serious threat to peace in the region and Europe,” Bulgaria’s President added.
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