Bulgarian Parliament to Decide on Joint Air Policing Missions

Defense | January 14, 2016, Thursday // 10:04|  views

The Bulgarian parliament will decide on Thursday whether to allow the country's airspace to be guarded not only by the Bulgarian army, but also by the armed forces of NATO allies.

This could be achieved by amendments to the Defence and Armed Forces Act.

On Wednesday, Defence Minister Nikolay Nenchev noted that the amendments provide for the country's airspace to be guarded either solely by Bulgarian aircraft or by joint patrols.

An option allowing the guarding of Bulgarian airspace exclusively by foreign aircraft was not foreseen, daily Dnevnik informs.

Bulgaria is to decide which countries to invite for the joint air policing missions and is preparing the relevant contract.

So far informal consultations on joint air policing missions have been held with Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Poland.

Nenchvev pointed that Bulgaria will be one of the last NATO member countries to sign such a contract.

In his opinion, the negotiations on joint air policing can be started immediately once the amendments are adopted.

In view of the endangered security environment, joint air policing is in Bulgarian interest, but is not of immediate necessity.

According to Nenchev, allowing joint air policing missions will take some of the financial burden off the Bulgarian air forces.

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Tags: Bulgaria, Defence, Nikolay Nenchev, Air Policing, airspace, NATO


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