Chair of the Military Committee commends Bulgaria for reinforcing NATO's Collective Defence
On 20-21 April 2022, the Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer was in Bulgaria, where he met with its President, H.E. Mr. Rumen Radev, the Prime Minister, H.E. Mr Kiril Petkov, the Minister of Defence, Mr. Dragomir Zakov and the Chief of Defence, Admiral Emil Eftimov. He also visited the Novo Selo Training Area and the Graf Ignatievo Air Base.
The Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer and the Bulgarian Chief of Defence, Admiral Emil Eftimov focussed their discussions on the current security situation and the recent decision to establish the new multinational battlegroup in Bulgaria. “The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has required that we assess and define options to further strengthen our defensive posture. We need to ensure the continued defence and security of all our Allies against all threats”, emphasised the Chair.
Meeting with the Prime Minister, H.E. Mr Petkov, Admiral Bauer commended Bulgaria for its contributions to collective defence: “Over the last 18 years, Bulgaria has proven to be a staunch and committed Ally. Not least in the Black Sea region, which is of great strategic importance for NATO. Bulgaria also helps build stability in the Western Balkans, by contributing to NATO's peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. And you host a force integration unit in Sofia, as part of NATO’s forward presence”, added Admiral Bauer.
During the visit, the Chair of the NATO Military Committee took a moment to pay his respects at the Memorial for the Unknown Soldier in Sofia, acknowledging the sacrifice of so many in the defence of peace, freedom and democracy.
Heading over to the Presidency, Admiral Bauer was received by the Bulgarian President, H.E. Mr Radev. The two officials discussed the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the support provided to the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the recent decisions by the Bulgarian government to reinforce its energy security and defence. The security discussions continued in his meeting with the Bulgarian Minister of Defence, Mr. Zakov. “At this defining moment for our security, Bulgaria’s contributions to safety and security are even more important, and NATO is unwavering in its commitment to Bulgaria. The Bulgarian Air Force, the Spanish Air Force and the Royal Netherlands Air Force are working together to protect Bulgarian skies. This shows NATO’s commitment to reinforcing our defensive posture across the Eastern Flank with the latest technologies”, clarified Admiral Bauer.
Admiral Bauer concluded his programme by visiting the Novo Selo Training Area and the Graf Ignatievo Air Base - both facilities provide premier range facilities to Allied and NATO troops as well as Allied aircraft - contributing to the overall combat readiness of the Alliance.