NATO Chief: We will Defend Bulgaria and Every Inch of Allied Territory
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg spoke in a video address to the Speaker of the National Assembly Nikola Minchev, the Prime Minister Kiril Petkov and the MPs on the occasion of the 18th anniversary of Bulgaria's accession to the Alliance. The video was published on the parliament's website last night.
“Today (yesterday, March 29th), 18 years ago, your country became a member of our alliance, and Bulgaria has been a staunch ally ever since”, said the NATO Secretary-General.
He thanked for Bulgaria's contribution to the common security, noting that this applies no less to the Black Sea region, which is of great strategic importance to NATO.
“Bulgaria's contribution is even more significant at this crucial moment for our security”, Stoltenberg said on the occasion of the war in Ukraine.
“NATO allies condemn the war and call on President Putin to end it immediately, withdraw all his troops and turn to diplomacy”, he said.
“In response to this new reality, NATO is strengthening its deterrence and defense capabilities. There are currently hundreds of thousands of forces on high alert throughout the Alliance. There are 100,000 US troops in Europe and another 40,000 under direct command of NATO, especially on the eastern flank of the Alliance, with strong air and naval support as well as air defense,” Stoltenberg said.
He noted that the Allies have sent troops to Bulgaria: “Spain has sent Eurofighter fighter jets, and soon the Netherlands will send F-35s, working side by side with the Bulgarian Air Force. You are also creating a multinational NATO battle group. This is transatlantic solidarity in action, with the clear message that we are all united.”
“We will defend Bulgaria and every inch of Allied territory. One for all and all for one,” said the NATO Secretary-General.
Stoltenberg encourages Bulgaria and all allies to invest at least 2 percent of their GDP in defense.
“I know that I can still count on Bulgaria's commitment to NATO in the future”, he said in his address.
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