US Secretary of Defense: We will Provide "Stryker" Vehicles to the Bulgarian ArmyDefense | March 19, 2022, Saturday // 11:27| views
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin talked with Prime Minister Kiril Petkov.
“The United States has agreed to provide a Stryker company of vehicles - a strong signal to our allies.” This was announced by Prime Minister Kiril Petkov after the meeting with the US Secretary of Defense.
“The company is under the command of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief for Europe and we will propose that its commander be Bulgarian,” Petkov added.
The issue of sending troops to Ukraine has not been discussed, Kiril Petkov stressed.
At the moment, we are only talking about humanitarian aid, a common strategy, the strengthening of the Eastern Flank. A decision on military aid at this stage is not possible and it can only be taken by the National Assembly, said Kiril Petkov in response to a question.
Asked by BNT to Lloyd Austin whether there were discussions about sending military power to Ukraine, such as air defense systems, he said that the conversation focused on efforts to strengthen the Eastern Flank.
“We thank Bulgaria for being a framework state of a battle group here. Thank you for your efforts”, added Austin.
“I want to thank the Secretary of Defense of the United States for the genuine allied support of Bulgaria in this critical time. Unfortunately, there is no longer any country that can live with the illusion of complete security. Our security is in collective defense with our NATO allies. We are NATO,” stressed Prime Minister Kiril Petkov.
The Bulgarian government has a clear task to strengthen our defenses, Petkov explained.
Among the other highlights of the conversation was military mobility - from the Mediterranean Sea Alexandroupolis - Burgas - Varna - Constanta by road, train line, the Danube bridge, Petkov added.
“Russian aggression has united NATO and Europe. We are very impressed by the courage and determination of the Ukrainian people. Their struggle is critical to the International Order and to the common values that the United States and Bulgaria share”, Lloyd Austin said.
“I have personally seen how these values are reflected in the warm welcome we have been given.
“We welcome your attempts of sending humanitarian aid to Ukrainian citizens,” Austin added.
He emphasized that a very important step was the creation of a multinational NATO team and that our partnership had never been so strong.
Yesterday, Lloyd Austin and his Bulgarian counterpart Dragomir Zakov visited Bezmer Air Base and the Novo Selo training ground, where the Bulgarian battalion, which is directly under NATO command, is training.
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