Sofia, Bulgaria: The United States Secretary of Defence – Lloyd Austin, was on a two-day visit to Bulgaria, during which he met with Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, US and Bulgaria military troops, as well as other government officials. Austin appreciated the stand of Bulgaria amid the Russia-Ukraine war conflict, adding that the country managed to lead a NATO multinational battlegroup.
US Secretary, in his tweet, wrote, “I wanted to underscore the importance of the announcement that Bulgaria has established and is leading a NATO multinational battlegroup. It’s an important step. We fully support it. And we commend Bulgaria for its leadership.”
“Putin’s war of choice against Ukraine has been tragic. Yet Russia’s aggression has galvanized the Ukrainian people, NATO, and the free world. Bulgaria is also working on significant defence modernization efforts, as highlighted in our bilateral ten-year Roadmap for Defense Cooperation. Your commitment is a model for the other Allies to follow.”
Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Petkov thanked US Secretary Austin for paying a working visit to the European country. He tweeted, “Thanks to US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin @SecDef for showing genuine Allied support for #България at this critical time in the world. Our security is in collective defence with our NATO allies. We are #NАТО.”
Meanwhile, the US Defence Secretary thanked his Bulgarian counterpart for inviting him to visit the European state. Austin further expressed delight over the coordination with which US-Bulgarian troops are working together, adding he is optimistic that Bulgaria and US bilateral ties will get more strengthened with the passage of time.
He tweeted while thanking Bulgarian Defence Minister and former Ambassador to NATO – Dragomir Zakov, “Minister @DragomirZakov, thank you for hosting me in Sofia. After seeing our troops working together yesterday, I came away even more confident that the U.S.-Bulgaria bilateral strategic partnership has never been stronger. #WeAreNATO“.
Prior to visiting Bulgaria, Austin travelled to Brussels, followed by Slovakia. Ending his trip to European nations, Austin underscored, “There was a clear common thread at every stop of my most recent European trip: unity. Our @NATO Allies are more unified than they’ve ever been, and the Alliance itself is stronger than I’ve ever seen it. #WeAreNATO“.