Defence Ministry: Bulgaria Subject To Russian Information War

Defense | August 26, 2014, Tuesday // 11:45|  views

Bulgaria's caretaker Defence Minister Velizar Shalamanov. Photo: BGNES

Bulgaria is in information war with Russia, says Bulgaria's Defence Ministry report “Outlook 2020: Bulgaria and NATO in European defence”, published on the ministry website.

The strategic report, presented by Shalamanov at a news conference, was drafted by the ministry in the past several weeks and will be presented by Bulgaria's President Rosen Plevneliev and caretaker Defence Minister Velizar Shalamonv at the NATO summit in Wales on September 4 and 5. 

According to the report, which outlines the upcoming reforms in Bulgaria's defence, the country faces threats of “hybrid wars, energy dependence, Russian propaganda, failed states, terrorism and migration”. 

“Bulgaria is in one of the zones with highest concentration of risks and threats in the Euro-Atlantic community,” the report said. “The trends in their development do not suggest improvement of the situation neither in mid-term, nor in long term aspect.”

“The active and total propaganda of Russian policies, particularly with the mediation of Bulgarian economic and political entities, media and NGOs is an open information war, undermining the integrity of institutions and state and directly attacking the national democratic values, spirit and will,” the report reads. 

According to “Outlook 2020: Bulgaria and NATO in European defence” the propaganda war is prompted by Russia's long term ambitions to reinstate its influence in the post-Soviet space and the situation in Ukraine. 

Another threat, connected to Russia's ambitions, outlined in the report, is the “hybrid war”, combining conventional warfare with “guerila, cyber and information warfare”, and violating international law. 

The “Outlook 2020: Bulgaria and NATO in European defence” outlines plans for reform and modernisation of Bulgaria's defence forces. According to it, 2% of the country's GDP must be set aside for defence yearly by 2020, of which between 10 and 15% should be spent for purchasing of new armaments. 

The report indicates the need of three new frigates, air defence systems, torpedoes, 3D radar, a drone helicopter and combat information system. The army would acquire between 100 and 120 combat vehicles. 

Bulgaria's defence forces also would acquire a terminal in NATO's Alliance Ground Surveillance system, a joint project of 14 NATO member states.

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Tags: Velizar Shalamanov, Russia, information war, propaganda, Defence, hybrid war, armaments, drone, army, NATO, Wales, guerila


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