Angel Naydenov, the former defence minister of Bulgaria, explained that three decisions taken at the two-day gathering of ministers of NATO members will directly affect the country. The first is to improve coordination, long-term planning, and joint acquisition of military equipment. Fortifying an air defence is also included in this initiative. Replenishment of each NATO member state’s arsenal is the second choice. Bulgaria desperately needs to enhance its output and restock the army’s stores with supplies.
Naydenov also highlighted that Bulgaria would need to find its role in the creation of these systems to guarantee the anti-aircraft and anti-missile defence of the Alliance members. Spending on defence will be increased as the third choice. Since 2014, this has been included in the member nations’ policies. He also added that it accounts for around 2% of GDP. Bulgaria won’t complete this until 2024, though. Only 11 member nations now meet this requirement.
Referring to the recently ordered F-16, Naydenov emphasizes that the country has a considerable expense in the upcoming future. Additionally, he states that Bulgaria urgently requires a sizable amount of funds for the second batch of F-16 aircraft and a new project of armoured vehicles.
Naydenov also shared his thoughts about the attack on the Crimean bridge and rumours of Bulgarian influence in it. He said, “There is no proof that Bulgaria or Bulgarian services were involved in the explosion of the bridge. There are no verifiable confirmations regarding the container’s travel through Bulgarian territory with the blast. The Bulgarian authorities responded immediately and suitably. I don’t see any need for Bulgaria to continue desperately looking for answers to anything that appears to be propaganda theses in the Russian media going forward without any compelling evidence.”