Bulgarian DefMin Dismisses Reports about Proposed Joint Naval Force with Romania, Turkey
Reports about an alleged proposal to set up a joint naval fleet with Romania and Turkey to counter a perceived Russian threat in the Black Sea were a “propaganda war with elements of hybrid warfare tactics", Bulgaria’s Defence Minister Nikolay Nenchev has said.
Romania had only proposed joint actions and training with the aim to boost defence capabilities, Nenchev told Bulgarian broadcaster Nova TV on Friday.
No proposal had been made to Bulgaria to establish a joint naval force in the Black Sea with Romania and Turkey; no participation had been offered to non-NATO Ukraine either, Nenchev added.
According to Bulgarian media reports published on Thursday, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis had proposed to Bulgaria to set up a joint naval fleet to counter Russia’s influence in the Black Sea region. Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said at a an urgently called press briefing the same day that both he and President Rosen Plevneliev opposed the idea of a joint naval fleet with Romania and Turkey in the Black Sea.
"I asked to include NATO experts from the very beginning, if a proposal [for joint actions and training] were to be discussed," Nenchev told Nova TV.
If any new defence initiatives in the Black Sea were planned, they had to be implemented under the NATO umbrella rather than being a regional effort, Nenchev added.
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