BULGARIA READY TO STEP UP MILITARY READINESS
[Announcer] We have just learned that the meeting at the presidency has ended. The chiefs of the special services and representatives of the General Staff and the Ministry of Internal Affairs took part in the meeting. We will talk to General Ginyo Tonev [deputy commander of the Bulgarian Army General Staff] about the national security measures that have been discussed. Good evening, General.
[Tonev] Good evening.
[Announcer] What can you tell us about the meeting at the presidency, the measures that have been discussed, and the results.
[Tonev] Well, I can tell you the following: After the events of which you all are aware, the meeting with the president aimed at discussing those events and the decision was to increase the alertness in the Bulgarian Army and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. In other words, simply to monitor the situation, and, if it becomes necessary, to bring our military system to a higher degree of combat-readiness. In addition, it has been decided to enhance the protection of more important facilities, both military and civilian, on the country`s territory. This is all for the time being. It has been noted that for the time being there is no direct threat to Bulgaria. The Bulgarian Army is implementing its daily tasks and we will follow the development of the situation in order to react adequately if it becomes necessary. This is what I can tell you.
[Announcer] General, please allow me to ask you what you mean by increased alertness at present?
[Tonev] Well, what can I tell you? Increased alertness means that, the moment the signal is given, we should be able to bring the system to a higher state of combat-readiness. This is all. This is increased alertness. However, at present, combat-readiness has not been actually increased. This is how this should be understood.
[Announcer] You said that there is no direct threat to the country. However, we know the threats of the Islamic fundamentalists that they could transfer the strikes to the Balkans, to our region.
[Tonev] This is so, but no-one can say when and where this could happen. This is why we are increasing our alertness, as I told you, and have increased the protection of facilities. We want to be ready.
[Announcer] So that you could react rapidly and immediately when this is needed. Thank you, Gen Tonev. We understand that there is no direct threat to Bulgaria, but that the army is in a state of increased alertness.
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