Bulgaria Meets the NATO Requirements of 2% of GDP for Defense

Defense | February 15, 2024, Thursday // 14:26|  views

@Ministry of Defense

Bulgaria has joined the ranks of 18 NATO nations meeting the alliance's criterion of allocating 2 percent of GDP for defense spending, announced Defense Minister Todor Tagarev. Speaking from Brussels, where he attended a meeting of NATO defense ministers, Tagarev emphasized Bulgaria's commitment to meeting and exceeding the defense expenditure benchmark.

"We are over 2% with the planned budget for this year... In future years, like 2026, the budget will exceed 2% due to increased payments on existing contracts," stated Tagarev. He highlighted that a significant portion of the defense budget is earmarked for investment in new capabilities, a move welcomed by NATO allies.

Addressing concerns raised by former US President Donald Trump's recent remarks suggesting that he would support Russian aggression against countries failing to meet defense spending targets, Tagarev stressed the importance of burden-sharing among NATO members. He noted that while Trump's stance was consistent with his previous statements, NATO's commitment to mutual defense remains steadfast.

"Mr. Trump is on the campaign trail... but it's completely understandable... we all have to share the burden... NATO's commitment is categorical," Tagarev affirmed.

When asked about potential changes within the Bulgarian government following a scheduled rotation on March 6, Tagarev did not directly address his future in the cabinet. Instead, he highlighted the productive collaboration with current officials and expressed readiness to work with whoever assumes leadership roles.

"Academician Denkov and Mrs. Gabriel will change positions... we are working extremely well... we will see how events will develop," Tagarev commented.

With Bulgaria's commitment to NATO's defense goals affirmed, concerns persist over Trump's rhetoric and its implications for European security.

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Tags: Bulgaria, NATO, Defense spending, Trump, security


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