Joint press point

with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria, Boyko Borissov

  • 12 Dec. 2019 -
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  • Mis à jour le: 12 Dec. 2019 12:43

(As delivered)

Joint press point with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Boyko Borissov

So Prime Minister Borissov,


Welcome to NATO Headquarters. It’s great to see you here again, and it’s great to meet with you, because Bulgaria is contributing to NATO in many different ways and to our shared security.

This year we celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of Bulgaria joining this Alliance. And we are so grateful for your support to different NATO missions and operations.

Including in Afghanistan, where Bulgarian troops are helping local forces to fight international terrorism.

Closer to home, you also help us in our peacekeeping mission in Kosovo.  Helping to stabilise the Western Balkans, which is important for all of us.

You also make essential contributions to Black Sea security, providing ships to NATO patrols in the region.

So Prime Minister, we agree on the importance of NATO’s presence in the Black Sea region.

The security environment has changed – and NATO is responding. We have strengthened our presence in the Black Sea region on land, at sea and in the air. With a multinational battlegroup in Craiova, air policing, and a strong naval presence.

We are also increasing our support to partners in the region. With training for maritime forces and coast guards, and more port visits and exercises. NATO’s standing naval groups are training regularly with Georgian and Ukrainian ships, improving our ability to work together with them in the Black Sea region.

And this year alone, Allies have held five major exercises in the Black Sea region.

To keep our people safe in a more unpredictable world, we need to invest in defence. So I really welcome that Bulgaria is now stepping up and has increased its defence spending, to more than 2% of GDP in 2019. Actually, the number is 3,25% which is significant and which demonstrates that Bulgaria is now among the 9 allies meeting the 2% guideline, spending more than 2% of GDP on defence.

And by doing that you are alos able to invest in major and modern equipment. Modern capabilities and contributions to our missions and operations make NATO stronger. And they make Bulgaria safer. 

Last week, we had a NATO leaders meeting in London. We took decisions to strengthen and adapt the Alliance. We have increased the readiness of our forces. We declared space as the fifth operational domain for NATO – alongside land, air, and sea and cyberspace.

We agreed a new action plan to fight international terrorism.

And we committed to ensuring the security of our telecommunications infrastructure, including 5G.

We also had a strategic discussion on Russia, the future of arms control, and the rise of China. So as the world is changing, NATO is changing. And our ability to change is one of the main reasons why NATO is the most successful Alliance in history. Adapting and changing when the world is changing.

So Prime Minister, once again welcome to NATO, it’s great to see you and I’m looking forward to continue working with you.

Please, you have the floor.