On his first visit abroad as Prime Minister, Bulgaria’s new Prime Minister, Kiril Petkov, was welcomed by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Friday (17 December) at NATO headquarters.
He greeted the Prime Minister on his new position and commended Bulgaria for its commitment to NATO, notably its contributions to the Black Sea region’s collective security. Bulgaria’s efforts to build stability in the Western Balkans were also praised by the Secretary General.
“NATO Allies have made evident that we call on Russia to quickly de-escalate, pursue diplomatic channels, and abide by its international commitments on military transparency,” the Secretary General said of Russia’s considerable military build-up in and around Ukraine.
NATO will take “all necessary steps to protect the security and defence of all NATO Allies,” he said again. “Allies made clear that we are ready for constructive dialogue with Russia,” the Secretary General said, “and we renew our long-standing invitation to Russia for a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council.”
According to ANI, citing a Novinite, amid escalating territorial tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Bulgaria’s Prime Minister came out in favour of the latter and offered Kyiv of the best possible assistance to oppose Moscow aggression. Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, who is presently on a visit to Brussels, restated his country’s stand against Russian aggression. Bulgaria, he claims, is “completely in accord with NATO and the European Union.”
It’s worth noting that the Bulgarian PM’s and NATO Secretary-statements General’s came amid concerns that Russia was on the verge of attacking Ukraine, its neighbour. According to US intelligence, Russian President Vladimir Putin has pressed 70,000 Russian troops along the Ukraine border, and the forces have apparently made all preparations to “invade Ukraine” next year. T