Bulgaria Calls for Enhanced NATO Security in the Black Sea and Western Balkans

Defense | May 25, 2024, Saturday // 17:45|  views

The spring session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly commenced with a call from Bulgaria to bolster NATO security in the Black Sea and the Western Balkans. The event is being hosted in Sofia.

Acting Minister of Defense, Atanas Zapryanov, highlighted the hybrid and disinformation threats anticipated during the European elections in Bulgaria. He emphasized the critical role of NATO's involvement in the Balkans and the Black Sea as part of reinforcing the eastern flank, advocating for allied anti-ship protection systems.

Zapryanov stated, "If a country is willing to temporarily deploy such capabilities, it would enhance our defense in the Black Sea region."

NATO countries will also contribute to an anti-mine operation in the Black Sea, initiated by Bulgaria, Turkey, and Romania earlier this year, but not under NATO's banner.

"We have invited NATO countries to deploy specific capabilities and teams," Zapryanov explained, noting that due to the Montreux Convention, NATO ships cannot operate in the Black Sea. He assured continued Bulgarian support for Ukraine in line with current efforts.

Defense Chief Admiral Emil Eftimov mentioned there has been no temporary warning zone designated by Russia in the Black Sea this year. Responding to inquiries, Admiral Eftimov affirmed that Bulgaria will rely solely on professional military and reserve forces for now.

Archibald Hamilton, a member of the British parliamentary delegation, remarked that Ukraine is losing the war against Russia and urged the use of a "technological advantage."

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Tags: NATO, Black Sea, Bulgaria, security


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