NATO Leaders Agree with Bulgarian Call for Enhanced Regional Presence

Defense | July 10, 2016, Sunday // 11:17|  views

Polish President Andrzej Duda (R) and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (L) welcome Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev (C) at the opening of the NATO Summit at the National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland, 08 July 2016. Photo: EPA

The heads of state or government of NATO member countries agreed with the Bulgarian stance that there is need for enhanced presence of the Alliance in the Black Sea region.

This was stated by President Rosen Plevneliev who headed the Bulgarian delegation at the two-day summit of NATO which took place in Warsaw on Friday and Saturday.

Plevneliev added that the Alliance stands ready to defend each one of its member countries.

According to him, the member countries of NATO demonstrated unity in their assessment of the risks and threats in the contemporary security environment and the means for overcoming them.

Migration, terrorism, the threats and risks from the east, including the militarization of the Crimean peninsula and the breached balance in the Black Sea region, were in the focus of their discussion.

Until October, NATO will develop a proposal to the member countries in the Black Sea basin on the forward presence of the Alliance in the region.

The proposal should address the concerns of member countries over the breached balance in the security environment after the annexation of Crimea by Russia.

Plevneliev noted that NATO’s enhanced presence in the region will not be a bilateral or trilateral initiative. Rather it will be under the aegis of NATO and will be open to all member countries.

The Bulgarian president once again dismissed earlier reports which had suggested the establishment of Black Sea flotilla.

He was firm that each initiative on ensuring security and better coordination of NATO member countries in the region is possible only under the aegis of NATO and will be open to all allies.

Plevneliev reminded that Bulgaria had already expressed readiness to participate with up to 400 servicemen in the multinational brigade on rotational basis which will be set up in Romania.

The brigade will be responsible for conducting training and improving coordination between allies.

The Bulgarian president noted that the brigade is not bilateral initiative and there will be no permanent stationing of Bulgarian troops in Romania.

The multinational brigade will be formed on the same principle as the one applied in the deployment of the four multinational battalions in Poland and the Baltic states, which had been agreed at the summit.

Plevneliev identified the decision on the accession of Montenegro to NATO as great success of Bulgaria’s foreign policy. He reminded that Bulgaria was one of the first countries to ratify the protocol on Montengro’s accession to the Alliance.

In his opinion, the countries from the Western Balkans have to join the Euro-Atlantic family as peace and stability to the region can be brought only through European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

He identified the signing of the joint declaration on partnership between the EU and NATO as another great success. With the two organizations facing similar challenges, such as hybrid and cyber threats, migrant crisis and human trafficking, it was important to deepen EU-NATO cooperation.

The participants in the summit also agreed that NATO will reinforce its support for the international coalition against Islamic State (IS).

Plevneliev added that Bulgaria will continue its participation in NATO’s Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan until the end of 2016 and thereafter.

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Tags: Bulgaria, NATO, Black Sea, Rosen Plevneliev, battalion, brigade, Romania, Russia, Crimea, Afghanistan, Resoulte Support, EU, terrorism, IS


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