Bulgarian Government Stations Troops at Border with Macedonia
The Bulgarian government stationed troops at the border with Macedonia, who have readiness to deal with an eventual migratory wave in case the situation in the neighbouring country worsens.
Commandos from the Specialised Unit for Combating Terrorism (SOBT) to the Interior Ministry are conducting joint drills with their Macedonian colleagues on capturing terrorists in woody and hilly areas.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said that these measures were taken as preparation in case the border was crossed, Darik radio reports.
After Borisov had convened the Security Council to the Council of Ministers on Tuesday, it became clear that the government was taking measures in case the situation in Macedonia escalated, the greatest concern being the influx of immigrants.
According to him, further tensions in Macedonia could be expected on Sunday, when the opposition had scheduled to stage a large anti-government protest demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.
The border checkpoints have also been put under alert in case the need arises to welcome Macedonians with Bulgarian passports, who amount to 90 000 people.
Borisov explained that it would not be a problem for holders of Bulgarian passports to arrive in the country and announced that Bulgaria should have a readiness for an eventual humanitarian crisis.
Defence Minister Nikolay Nenchev confirmed that the army would offer assistance in guarding the border.
Nenchev added that this included assistance to Border Police and the Interior Ministry in general, assuring that there was nothing worrying at present.
The Chief of Defence Vice Admiral Rumen Nikolov stated on Wednesday that Bulgarian security services will soon establish whether the events in Macedonia were spontaneous or staged.
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