Bulgarian Parliament Allows Army to Guard Borders
The Bulgarian parliament extended the powers of the army on Thursday, allowing it to guard the state borders.
This happened after MPs approved at first reading amendments to two articles of the Defence and Armed Forces Act.
The texts were adopted by all 156 MPs present in the plenary chamber, with the second reading to take place in three days, daily Dnevnik informs.
At present, armed forces are only allowed to provide assistance to the officials of the interior ministry, such as logistics.
An addition to article 57 will make the army eligible to guard on equal terms with border policemen.
However the army will be deployed only in extraordinary and crisis situations.
The military is also to prepare tactical plans for reaction in case of heightened migrant pressure.
The Council of Ministers will entrust the army with concrete tasks and will provide funding for their implementation.
The defence minister will regulate the use of force against intruders.
Shortly after the amendments were approved, Defence Minister Nikolay Nenchev assured that the army has complete readiness to guard the borders, adding that the details will be clarified with the interior minister.
There is also a possibility for deploying joint patrols made up of troops and border policemen.
Nenchev is expecting surge in the migrant influx as the weather warms up.
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