Minister Strikes Back at Bulgarian President over Defense Policy

Defense | March 29, 2011, Tuesday // 10:40|  views

Bulgaria's Defense Minister Angelov (right) and President Parvanov (left) have been tanlged in an outright conflict of visions and actions. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's Defense Minister, Anyu Angelov, responded to defense policy criticism coming from President and Commander in Chief, Georgi Parvanov.

The Minister sent an open letter to the media, stating his position on the comments published by Parvanov on his Facebook profile, where he accuses the cabinet and the Defense Ministry of underestimating the threats for national security.

The Minister is asking if the criticism is coming from the country's Commander in Chief or from the informal leader of the new movement ABV (an organization founded by Parvanov, which he calls civil initiative; the acronym ABV – the first three letters of the Cyrillic alphabet, stands for Alternative for Bulgarian Revival), and points out to criticize without taking institutional and political responsibility is a "convenient method."

"We have profoundly different views when it comes to defense," Angelov writes, adding that for one and a half year in office, the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party had executed a thorough assessment of the state of the Bulgarian Аrmy, and had developed a plan for its actions aligned with the parameters of the budget.

In the letter, the Minister reminds that the Parliament passed already the so-called White Book for a reform in the military while the cabinet had approved an investment plan, pointing out the President had always been kept abreast and never, until now, had offered any comments or insights.

Regarding Parvanov's criticism of undermining the threats coming from nearby regions, Angelov replies that according to the approved National Security Strategy, none of the neighboring countries is considered a direct military threat.

On criticism about financing, the Minister explains that funding is connected not only with the State budget, but with the transparency and the grounds for making expenses, reminding the huge foreign partners debt, inherited by the previous Three-Way Coalition cabinet.

Angelov writes that in 2009, this cabinet, led by Socialist Prime Minister, Sergey Stanishev, had withdrawn in advance BGN 102 M from the defense funds slated in the budget for international missions and contracts, which were spent on the purchases of apartments and furniture.

"I cannot understand why the President did not interfere then," the Minister says.

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Tags: Commander in Chief, Defense Act, Defense Minister, risks, threats, national security, Cabinet, policies, defense, armed forces, Bulgarian Army, Anyu Angelov, Defense Minister, Georgi Parvanov, president, Bulgarian, army, GERB, three-way coalition, Sergey Stansishev, ABV


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