Pro-NATO, Pro-Gov't Protest Staged outside Bulgaria PresidencyDefense | April 27, 2015, Monday // 12:33| views
A man supporting Defense Minister Nenchev's pro-NATO stance at the demonstration held in front of the Presidency in Sofia, Bulgaria on April 27, 2015. Photo by BGNES
About a hundred people have gathered in front of the Presidency in Bulgaria's capital Sofia to voice support for Defense Minister Nikolay Nenchev.
Demonstrators have also expressed their approval for Bulgaria's EU and NATO membership.
Bulgaria has been a NATO member for ten years now and has been part of the EU since 2007.
But part of the Bulgarian society is worried by what some parties describe as "Russian aggression" in Eastern Europe, with their fears additionally fueled by Russia's actions with regard to Ukraine.
Some protesters were seen holding posters reading, "Full and unconditional de-communization and lustration!" "Stop Russian aggression", "Bravo, Minister Nenchev", etc.
Bulgarian Defense Minister Daniel Nenchev has often been described by the socialist opposition as too hawkish on Russia, while the leader of coalition partner ABV, President (2002-2012) Georgi Parvanov, maintains his activities are "harmful" to Bulgaria.
Various opposition parties are also warning that Bulgaria is being used by the alliance as a future base for military action against Russia, citing the alliance's coordination center that is to be built here in the coming years.
Monday's developments came ahead of the Consultative Council for National Security, also attended by Minister Nenchev.
The council was called by President Rosen Plevneliev to discuss the security environment and the state of the armed forces.
But concrete modernization proposals were virtually dropped off the agenda as PM Boyko Borisov asserted no additional funding was available in the budget to overhaul capabilities.
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