President: NATO Shield Is Valuable for BulgariaDefense | May 19, 2012, Saturday // 11:49| views
Bulgarian President, Rosen Plevneliev, is on his first official visit to the US as Head of State. Photo by BGNES
Bulgaria will be among the first five countries in Europe to be covered by NATO's missile defense shield, according to President, Rosen Plevneliev.
Plevneliev, who is on his first official visit to the US as Head of State, spoke ahead of the NATO summit in Chicago.
"The first five countries to be covered by the shield are in Europe and Bulgaria is one of them. We must be very grateful and we are benefiting a lot. Currently, about 30 States have ballistic missiles, and in most cases they are not NATO members, and this is a real threat," Plevneliev said.
According to him, the first stage of the missile shield has already concluded and successful tests have been conducted a month ago. Among the other States that would be the first ones to be covered by the shield, he mentioned Turkey, Romania, and Poland.
Upon arriving in Chicago for the summit to be held on May 20 and 21, the President further told the media that it was certain Bulgaria will participate in the NATO mission in Afghanistan even after 2014 by sending army instructors> he stressed that the schedule for withdrawal of Bulgarian rangers has been approved by the Parliament and there wouldn't be any changes in it.
The situation in Afghanistan will top the agenda of the summit, along with missile defense in Europe.
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