PM Borisov to the NATO Chief: Bulgaria is not a Trojan Horse of Russia
Bulgaria is a highly valued ally of NATO, it plays an important strategic role in the Black Sea, Kosovo and Afghanistan, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told journalists at the Council of Ministers after meeting with Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.
After the four-eye talks, there was an extended meeting between the two delegations, on which cooperation on security and defense and the stability of the Western Balkans and the region was discussed.
You said that you are willing to count all defense spending, because that's how you get a full picture of what is being invested in this area, the NATO Secretary General said.
Prime Minister Borisov gave a detailed account of the participation of our military in NATO's teachings in recent years, as well as of the Alliance's teachings on our territory.
We had one criticism and it is that we did not include the pensions for military personnel in defense spending, Borisov said. He said energy projects were not discussed today, and Jens Stoltenberg's visit is at his invitation and planned many months ago before it is known that Dmitry Medvedev, the prime minister of Russia, arrives in Bulgaria on Monday.
Borisov voiced concern over the possibility of escalation in the arms race between NATO and Russia.
Bulgaria is not the Trojan horse of Russia in NATO, we are one of the most disciplined and loyal members of the Alliance, the prime minister said.
He added that "Bulgaria is looking for dialogue with Russia, but at the same time we have to be strong enough to be in good position for dialogue".
The prime minister reminded that he has always been against the military exercises in the Black Sea, because Bulgaria is one of the countries in the EU with developed tourism, which carries over 12% of the revenues. That is why it is not profitable for us ships and boats to pass through the harbors near the tourists.
That is why diplomacy must be used to avoid a new arms race because there are many conflicts, Borisov said. With Stoltenberg they spoke about Serbia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, and other conflict points where the Bulgarian military serves.
Borisov thanked for the visit and support of the Secretary General of NATO and reminded that the government has decided to modernize our army - with the new multipurpose planes and 150 armored vehicles, which we will be ready for defense and combat.
The next meeting of Jens Stoltenberg is with President Rumen Radev.
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