Bulgaria to Call for Enhanced NATO Presence in Black Sea at Warsaw Summit

Politics » DEFENSE | July 8, 2016, Friday // 20:01
Bulgaria: Bulgaria to Call for Enhanced NATO Presence in Black Sea at Warsaw Summit Polish President Andrzej Duda (R) and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (L) welcome Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev (C) at the opening of the NATO Summit at the National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland, 08 July 2016. Photo: EPA

At the NATO summit taking place in Warsaw on Friday and Saturday, Bulgaria will call for the heightened presence of the Alliance in the Black Sea area due to the increasing Russian militarisation in the region.

The Bulgarian stance at the meeting of the heads of state or government of the NATO member countries will be presented by President Rosen Plevneliev.

At the summit Bulgaria will be also represented among others by Defence Minister Nikolay Nenchev, Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov, Chief of Defence General Constantin Popov and Bulgaria's permanent representative to NATO Ivan Naydenov.

According to Plevneliev, Bulgaria will insist on placing priority on the Black Sea, which should not be left out of focus while the efforts of the Alliance are concentrated in the North Sea and the south.

In his words, the southern and eastern flanks of NATO should not be neglected. Therefore, he will insist on enhanced presence, better coordination, more joint drills and improvement of the defence capabilities of Bulgaria and NATO partners.

The Bulgarian president was firm that there is no NATO flotilla in the Black Sea and at present Allied ships are arriving in the region for participation in joint drills on rotational basis.

At the summit, Bulgaria will also demand for more active commitment in the fight against Islamic State (IS).

Plevneliev will express Bulgaria's concern over the breached balance in the region and the accelerated militarisation of Crimea by Russia.

The Bulgarian head of state will clearly state that NATO has to demonstrate commitment to the security of member countries from the Black Sea basin by admitting the strategic importance of the region.

As regards the risks to security in the Black Sea, Plevneliev assured that Bulgarian institutions have managed to come out with clear, united and coordinated stance, which was approved by the government in June.

Since Bulgaria's accession to NATO, the country has always been in favour of the heightened presence of the Alliance in the Black Sea.

The participants in the summit will demonstrate their will and unity by clearly stating that NATO is the main source of security and stability in the region.

At the summit, Bulgaria will welcome the participation of Montenegro as observer and future member of the Alliance and will make clear commitment to the open doors policy of NATO.

Plevneliev reminded that Bulgaria was one of the first countries to ratify the protocol on Montenegro's accession to NATO, which was a clear sign of the active Bulgarian position in the region.

Among the other topics to be discussed at the summit are cyber security and the fight against human trafficking and illegal migration in the Mediterranean and Aegean Sea.

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Tags: Bulgaria, NATO, Warsaw Summit, Rosen Plevneliev, Daniel Mitov, Nikolay Nenchev, IS, Russia, Black Sea, Crimea, Defence

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