Bulgaria Never Made Commitments to Participate in Black Sea Flotilla with Romania, Turkey
Bulgaria had never made commitments to participate in the establishment of a trilateral flotilla in the Black Sea or any other regional initiatives with Turkey and Romania.
This was stated by Bulgarian Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov and Defence Minister Nikolay Nenchev in a joint briefing on Friday.
Mitov and Nenchev spoke to journalists after a meeting of the government at which the cabinet approved the framework positions Bulgaria will champion at the forthcoming summit of NATO in Warsaw on July 8 and 9.
The foreign minister noted that after the Russian annexation of Crimea Moscow has been amassing armaments along the Black Sea coast which has lead to heavy imbalances in strategic terms.
He said that NATO had to compensate for the resulting imbalances and to clearly signal that it will protect all its members..
Mitov highlighted that neither Bulgaria nor NATO need military confrontation and the sanctions were working well enough.
He called on NATO to treat its northeastern flank (the Baltic states and Poland) in the same way as its southeastern (the Black Sea and the external southeastern border of NATO).
Nenchev revealed that Bulgaria will contribute a battalion of up to 400 servicemen into the multi-national brigade which will be established in Romania under the aegis of NATO.
The battalion will be stationed in Bulgaria and will be deployed on rotational principle to Romania for participation in drills and training.
At the summit, Bulgaria expects that the allies will achieve better coordination between themselves, closer cooperation with the EU and to adapt NATO towards the dramatically altered security environment.
Nenchev and Mitov have informed all members of the cabinet on each point of Bulgaria's national position and received the approval of the ministers and Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.
President Rosen Plevneliev has also been informed of the intentions and decision of the government.
Nenchev expressed delight that Bulgaria had fulfilled its commitments which had been undertaken at the previous summit of NATO in Cardiff in 2014.
In particular, Bulgaria adopted a plan for the development of its defence capabilities as well as drafts for the acquisition of new multi-functional aircraft and two patrol ships.
Speaking at parliament on Friday, Prime Minister Borisov claimed that his Romanian counterpart Dacian Ciolos first raised the issue for joint activities in the Black Sea and asked Bulgaria to sign a memorandum. Borisov firmly turned down the proposal.
A week later the issue was raised again by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis during his visit to Bulgaria. The Romanian proposal was once again turned down by Borisov.
At a sitting of the parliamentary defence committee on Thursday, Nenchev said that together with his Romanian counterpart Mihnea Motoc they have discussed the establishment of group rather than flotilla.
Last week, reports emerged that Turkey is not fulfilling the agreement to accept the return of illegal immigrants from Bulgaria in retaliation to Sofia's refusal to join a trilateral navy initiative in the Black Sea.
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