Following the meeting of NATO Defence Ministers, Minister Nenchev made the following statement:
We are in alliance with the better part of the world where our children study, live and work. We share common values and a common destiny with these countries. Our future is in the family of the free and peace-loving peoples.
With a view to the unstable situation in Ukraine and the Middle East, NATO sets a goal to itself to generate a deferent effect through its presence on these flanks. The equipment which will be deployed or transported on rotational principle there will be minimal, and it cannot be employed for any aggressive activities whatsoever. It is a guarantee for every NATO member-country that in case of encroachment on any single one of them, all the other member-countries will assist it within the first several hours of the event.
The participation of Bulgaria in the common efforts is modest, however it is dignified.
The agreement reached even before the NATO Wales Summit to situate a Command and Control Center in Bulgaria has not been changed. In the current year, we will conduct only the already planned and accepted joint exercises.
We are convinced that the unity achieved at the meeting today guarantees peace and security of all member-countries of the Alliance. Bulgaria is not alone in these troubled times. The people in our country deserve to live undisturbed in peace.
This first NATO ministerial meeting after the Wales Summit was marked by decisions signifying the most substantial transformation of the Alliance since the end of the Cold War. The decisions made will guarantee that NATO will retain its capabilities such as readiness, resilience, and agility, and that it will be capable of responding to present and future challenges regardless of when or where they might occur.
“Bulgaria has already been working on the deployment of such centres; the decision was made by us as part of the consistent policy pursued by our country,” commented Defence Minister Nikolay Nenchev when asked about the decision on the setting up of command and control centres in six East European NATO Allies.
“The command and control centres in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria are the visible manifestation of NATO’s core task, which was the reason why we joined the Alliance: the security of each and every member state is a collective responsibility carried by all Allies,” he added. According to Nikolay Nenchev, the deployment of such centres does not mean preparation for war. “The measures aimed at strengthening the defence capabilities of the allies are being implemented in response to Russia’s aggressive actions and are part of our collective defence obligations,” the Defence Minister said.
During the working lunch, the participants discussed the security challenges coming from the east and the south. They demonstrated remarkable solidarity and unity of political will as regards approaches to tackling future threats. The speakers reaffirmed the collective decision made at the Wales summit to reverse the trend of reduction in defence spending, gradually increasing it over the coming years.
The decisions made today account for the initial stage of the implementation of the decisions from Wales and pave the way for the Summit in Warsaw, scheduled for 2016.
The Ministers of Defence of the Republic of Bulgaria and of Romania, Mr Nikolay Nenchev and Mr Mircea Dușa, met in Sofia today, 27 January 2015. The purpose of the visit was coordination of the respective positions of the two countries in view of the forthcoming NATO Defence Ministerial to be held in Brussels this coming February. Both ministers agreed that a cohesive and pragmatic cooperation-based approach has no alternative for our countries.
Ministers Nenchev and Dușa saw eye-to-eye on the fact that the south-eastern flank of the Alliance needs strengthening and that additional financial resources will have to be procured in order to achieve that.
During the talks, the two ministers discussed the establishment of elements of the Command and Control System, which will be deployed in both countries’ territories as a key component of NATO’s Readiness Action Plan. The exchange of service members between the corresponding elements was agreed, as well as the sharing of experience during the process of the structuring and establishment of the said elements.
The two ministers discussed the possibility for more effective use of the training ranges of the Armed Forces of the two countries when conducting joint trainings and exercises with NATO Member States and partners of the Alliance.
The Bulgarian side was represented by Mr Dimitar Kyumyurdzhiev, Deputy Minister of Defence, VADM Rumen Nikolov, Chief of Defence, and Maj. Gen. Rumen Radev, Air Force Commander, whereas the Romanian side was represented by Mr Valeriu Nicuț, State Secretary for Defence Policy and Planning, and Lieutenant General Nicolae Ciucă, Chief of the General Staff.
Bulgaria is located close to the two most serious challenges facing NATO at the moment: the instability in the Middle East and the tension in the Black Sea Region. This is why our country needs to be part of the Alliance’s response strategy. This is a view shared by both NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Defence Minister Nikolay Nenchev at their meeting held today, January 22nd.
The two dignitaries discussed the security situation in the world and the threats it implies for the Allies. “We are deeply concerned with the developments in the Middle East and the Situation with the Islamic State, and we’re following even more closely the developments in the Black Sea Region,” said Minister Nenchev and added that Bulgaria is making great effort to withstand the instability in those regions and to endure the refugee influx that threatens to surge.
Secretary Stoltenberg and Minister Nenchev also discussed the implementation of the Readiness Action Plan (RAP), which was adopted at the NATO Summit in Wales last year as part of the Alliance’s Reassurance Measures. It will form the basis for significant enhancement of NATO’s readiness and responsiveness, enabling the Allies to respond swiftly to unforeseen contingencies.
Minister Nenchev informed Jens Stoltenberg of the development of the Trust Fund to help rehabilitate wounded Ukrainian soldiers. Bulgaria became Lead Nation in the Trust Fund during the NATO Summit in Wales.
Secretary General Stoltenberg commended Bulgaria on its participation in Alliance’s missions in Afghanistan, the Mediterranean, Somalia, Turkey and Kosovo.
„My priorities were clearly and categorically declared, and they are related to a fuller and broader integration within the framework of NATO and EU as well as to a much closer cooperation within the framework of the Alliance,” said the Minister of Defence today, 13 November 2014, at the meeting with Mr. Sorin Ducaru, NATO Assistant Secretary General for emerging security challenges. Minister Nenchev declared that he would adhere to the principles incorporated in the National Program “Bulgaria in NATO and in European Security - 2020” developed by the team of the outgoing Minister of Defence, Mr. Velizar Shalamanov, in the caretaker government.
He expressed his concern with the development of the situation in Ukraine and its reflection on security in the Black Sea region as well as on the events taking place in Iraq and Syria. Minister Nenchev emphasized the expanding activities of the “Islamic State” and the possibility for terrorists to infiltrate Bulgaria’s territory. “I believe that NATO and EU have to powerfully and clearly counteract the “Islamic State”, and we expect higher activity on the part of the Alliance directed towards this part of the world,” declared the Minister of Defence.
He familiarized the NATO Assistant Secretary General with the political situation in our country in the past two years and assured him that a stable Euro-Atlantic coalition supported by the National Assembly and the President of the Republic of Bulgaria stands firmly behind the newly formed government. Minister Nenchev emphasized that within the framework of this support the reform of the Bulgarian army has to be implemented, placing an emphasis on active work focused on the rearmament of our armed forces. “Cooperation, integration and trust – this is my message to our NATO allies,” the Minister declared.
The NATO Assistant Secretary General for emerging security challenges Sorin Ducaru congratulated Minister Nenchev on his appointment to his post and thanked Bulgaria for its contribution to the Alliance’s operations and capabilities. He pointed out as success the establishment of the NATO Center of Excellence in Crisis Management and Disaster Relief. Sorin Ducaru expressed his hope that through the support on the part of the government and the National Assembly, Bulgaria will implement the basic priorities beyond the Wales Summit – the implementation of the Alliance’s Readiness Action Plan and gradual increase in the defence budgets.