US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has pledged to help Bulgaria, via the Pentagon, with the supply of replacement resources of many weapons.
This was stated by the acting foreign minister and future ambassador to NATO Nikolay Milkov to Bulgarian journalists in Brussels. He participated in the meeting of the first diplomats of the member countries of the pact.
Blinken inquired whether the US military department had been informed and promised to follow up on the matter.
Did Bulgaria give Ukraine old weapons, and in return receive new ones from the allies, asked Bulgarian media “Club Z”.
“This issue in this context was not exactly discussed. It was discussed that we have a draining resource and a capability gap. When, for example, their jets expire, which will happen soon, we will have 2 or 3 years ahead of us, during which we will have no other options at all to protect our airspace. We will have to rely on the allies,” replied Milkov.
And he added that what would happen to our armaments is a matter that should be decided at other levels by parliament, most likely by the future government.
Bulgarian participation in the “G-7+” format was also discussed at the meeting with Blinken. It was initiated by the USA, and we are invited as one of the countries from Eastern Europe that can contribute to the recovery and stabilization of the situation in Ukraine.
For the first time in 6 years, a meeting of the “NATO-Ukraine” Committee took place. The foreign ministers have confirmed the political and material support their countries provide to the country attacked by Russia.
“Material support is provided on a national basis. NATO stays out of hostilities and seeks not to be identified as part of the war. The countries work according to their national priorities, restrictions, etc.,” the head of Bulgarian diplomacy pointed out.
The main task of the alliance is to prepare in the best possible way the summit in Vilnius in July. With regard to Ukraine, the possibility of a joint declaration between its president Volodymyr Zelensky and the heads of state of the member countries, in which the future dimensions of the relations between the alliance and Kyiv will be fixed, is being commented on. This meeting is expected to be a strong signal of support for both Ukraine and Russia, which must come to terms with the fact of this strategic relationship.
All ministers see Ukraine as a potential future member of NATO, said Nikolay Milkov. For the time being, efforts are focused on confirming this perspective and reaching certain agreements around the specific parameters of what membership will lead to – adoption of a membership action plan, increasing the interoperability of Ukraine’s armed forces with NATO standards, reform of its defense sector. All members of the pact have passed this road.
“Deadlines cannot be fixed, no one is talking about that now,” the minister answered a question from Club Z.
At the moment, the acceptance of Sweden is being commented on. The intention is to achieve full membership by the Vilnius meeting. According to Milkov, this is achievable, since there is a signed memorandum between Stockholm and Ankara. On its basis, certain legislative changes could be adopted in Sweden, which would lead to the lifting of the Turkish veto. As for Hungary, they have declared that they will not be the last to ratify the membership of the Scandinavian kingdom.
Yesterday Finland became a member of NATO, which submitted an application together with Sweden. Thus, there are now 31 alliance countries.
Bulgaria wants to sign a declaration of common intentions with Great Britain, Milkov also said. He had a meeting with his colleague James Cleverley. The declaration should redefine our relationship by filling the gaps left by the UK’s exit from the EU. Previously, the two countries had structured cooperation within the EU. Now these things must be resolved on a bilateral basis.
“We have a project that is currently handed over to the British side, so that they can examine in London the possibilities, the spheres of action, the potential means that would be needed,” explained Milkov.
Milkov is waiting to become the ambassador to NATO this month
Nikolay Milkov expects to take up his position as Bulgaria‘s permanent representative in NATO this month.
“It’s something I want to do as quickly as possible. We don’t have a permanent representative there for more than a year now,” he said.
The caretaker government issued a decree appointing him last week. All that remains is for President Rumen Radev to sign the decree.
The previous permanent representative, Dragomir Zakov, was recalled in March 2022 to become Minister of Defense in Kiril Petkov’s cabinet. The regular government did not send a new ambassador.
Thus, the task was transferred to the caretaker cabinet. The first time in Sofia they decided to wait for a new regular government. Asked in the National Assembly, Milkov replied that the cabinet preferred to wait, as there was a chance that a regular one would be formed. But it didn’t work out.
The minister was categorical that he did not propose his candidacy himself. In the Council of Ministers in the Presidency, 8 other names were proposed for discussion. The decision was made at other levels, said Milkov. He did not answer whether it was the president or the prime minister, but pointed out that those levels were higher.
Source : Novinite