IS Poses Threat to Bulgaria due to Proximity of Turkey - DefMin

Politics » DEFENSE | October 8, 2014, Wednesday // 13:24
Bulgaria: IS Poses Threat to Bulgaria due to Proximity of Turkey - DefMin Interim Defense Minister Velizar Shalamanov. Photo by BGNES

There is categorically a threat to Bulgaria stemming from the offensive of Islamic State, though not a direct one, caretaker Defense Minister Velizar Shalamanov said.

He told public broadcaster BNT that the danger was mostly caused by the proximity of Bulgaria to the Turkish-Syria border, where recent IS attacks unfolded, but stressed it was not military in essence.

Commenting on steps taken by his ministry toward the army's modernization since he took over the institution, he reiterated a total of nine projects were in preparation to that end.

Though not directly responding to the question whether it is precisely eight new fighters Bulgaria will seek to buy, Shalamanov explained the country also needs warships and a new cyber-security system apart from upgrading its aircraft fleet.

Shalamanov spoke in favor of balanced development of armed forces' capabilities, describing the current ones as "utterly inefficient" and dating from the Warsaw-Pact era.

Asked why he had undertaken such large-scale projects despite being an interim Defense Minister, he retorted that the national program he and his institution were preparing would carry obligations for the next minister.

Shalamanov also made a few remarks about the explosion in a factory in Bulgaria's north-west which left fifteen people dead.

He said one should not completely rule out the hypothesis raised by the Midzhur plant's owner, Valeri Mitkov, that the incident was caused by sabotage.

Stressing it was up to experts to make their judgment, he said premeditation was not completely impossible, since July 2012's incident at the Sarafovo airport  (when a suicide bomber detonated himself killing Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver) proved there was a security breach, and a sabotage would constitute another "serious breach" if found out.

We need your support so can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!

Defense » Be a reporter: Write and send your article
Tags: Velizar Shalamanov, Midzhur, army, Valeri Mitkov, Sarafovo

Bulgaria news (Sofia News Agency - is unique with being a real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news. The editorial staff also publishes a daily online newspaper "Sofia Morning News." (Sofia News Agency - and Sofia Morning News publish the latest economic, political and cultural news that take place in Bulgaria. Foreign media analysis on Bulgaria and World News in Brief are also part of the web site and the online newspaper. News Bulgaria