Armed Forces Would Be Inefficient in Border Patrols – Bulgaria’s Defense Minister
Defense Minister Nikolay Nenchev has said that the army would be inefficient in operations involving guarding the Bulgarian-Turkish border.
In a Friday interview for the Bulgarian National Radio, Nenchev commented on the proposal for joint patrols of the Defense Ministry and the Interior Ministry at the Bulgarian-Turkish border.
Nenchev underscored that army officials were not authorized to detain people or use weapons at the border.
“The question then arises as to what they shall be doing there. Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry Act states that guarding the border is a responsibility of the Interior Ministry,” Nenchev declared.
The idea for the joint patrols was put forth by Interior Minister Veselin Vuchkov, who suggested that the Bulgarian army could help the Border Police unit of the Interior in the attempts to cope with the refugee influx.
Nenchev assured that the Defense Ministry would fully assist the Interior with equipment and logistics, within the scope of their statutory powers.
He also claimed that it had been a mistake to use the armed forces to build a fence along Bulgaria’s border with Turkey.
Nenchev said that experts were evaluating which properties of the Defense Ministry could be given to the State Agency for Refugees to use them as temporary accommodation sites, adding that ownership of the buildings would most probably be transferred to the Agency.
He said that he expected that the army budget would have to be updated in 2015 due to Bulgaria’s commitments as a NATO member state.
Nenchev explained that Bulgaria had pledged that the army budget would increase gradually at a NATO summit in Wales.
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