Sofia to Moscow: ‘We’re not going to fight Russia, there are no nuclear weapons here’
SOFIA, (BM) – Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov on Saturday denied statements by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, that his country and Romania are stocking offensive weapons, including nuclear weapons, that could be used against Russia, learned BulgarianMilitary.com. There has never been a nuclear weapon in Bulgaria, he stressed.
The Bulgarian media reported extensively about Zakharova’s statement on Friday. Her speech was a reaction to the information that the United States was starting preliminary negotiations on the deployment of 2,500 people in the Bulgaria Military.
“The claim that Bulgaria has weapons, including nuclear, to prepare an attack on the Black Sea countries is provocative,” – emphasized Borisov. He also explained that the only change taking place in the Bulgarian armed forces is “the modernization of aviation, land forces and the navy, which has been planned for a long time and known.”
The Prime Minister added that in connection with the purchase of eight American F-16 fighters, work is underway to modernize military airports, as most of them are currently not adapted to handle such aircraft.
Bulgaria paid the US $ 1.1 billion in 2019 for new fighters. Bulgaria expects the fighter jets in 2022-2023. Bulgarian signed an agreement with Germany’s company to order two new multipurpose ships in November, and negotiations are currently underway to acquire 150 German infantry fighting vehicles.
Bulgaria will pay nearly $6M for a border integrated surveillance system
The restoration and maintenance of the integrated surveillance system on the Bulgarian-Turkish border in the section from the Lesovo border checkpoint to the Rezovska River will cost BGN 10,000,000 without VAT [$6,06m]. This is clear from the public procurement register of the Ministry of Interior. The entire amount will be spent for a period of 4 years as we reported on November 21.
The integrated surveillance system along our southern border was established with a contract from 2013, funded by the European External Borders Fund. It consists of alarm and security systems, monitoring of the border checkpoints “Lesovo” and “Malko Tarnovo”, underground cables, substations, stationary posts, unified communication system and other elements. Its purpose is to increase the effectiveness in the fight against illegal translation across the border of people and goods, as well as other crimes.
The integrated system detects, identifies and tracks sites, manages border police patrols to prevent attempts to cross the state border illegally, counteracts other illegal activities in the border area and conducts specialized police operations in the area. It also has several focal points where data from radars and other border security systems are processed and analyzed.
The contractor will be committed over the next 4 years to ensure continuous and reliable operation of both security systems and coordination centers. Part of the financial resources – BGN 6,880,354 [$4,18M] are provided by the EU under the Internal Security Fund, and the rest of the funds up to the estimated value will be provided by other sources of funding, including budget funds.
The integrated system in the section from the Lesovo border checkpoint to the Rezovska River was put into operation in 2015. Prior to that, a 58 km section was built between the Kapitan Andreevo border checkpoint and the Lesovo border checkpoint worth over EUR 12,000,000 provided entirely through national funding. In 2018, a contract was signed for BGN 34 million without VAT [$20,6M] for the expansion of the integrated surveillance system on the Bulgarian-Turkish border. For this money, equipment was delivered and sensor lines were built along the border.
Who can build the future integrated monitoring system?
There are two optical companies in Bulgaria that deal with such activities. These are Optix and Opticoelectron. Both companies are based in Panagyurishte, and both companies are well known in international markets. In recent years, Opticoelectron has been building mobile and stationary surveillance and security systems at various locations along the Bulgarian border. The company also exports a significant amount of its mobile security systems to Europe and Asia.
The fence on the Turkish border spend more money
Money continues to pour into the fence on the Turkish border. This became clear in the middle of last year after the decisions of some of the then government meetings were announced.
It is not clear from the announcements of the government press service what exactly amount will be invested in the fence. They say: “The approved funds from the budget of the Council of Ministers in the amount of BGN 7.394 million [$4,5M] are for the following activities: ensuring transportation and environmentally friendly treatment through final recovery / disposal of residual waste at a site near the town of Devnya; for construction of adjacent field road, parallel to the temporary obstructing facility on the Bulgarian-Turkish border on the territory of Yambol district, as well as for out-of-warranty maintenance of the temporary obstructing facility on the Bulgarian-Turkish border on the territory of Burgas, Haskovo and Yambol districts “.
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