SOFIA, Bulgaria (BulgarianMilitary.com) –The regular meeting of the Defence Ministers of NATO member states began yesterday (13th February), at NATO Headquarters in Brussels. The Minister of Defence Krasimir Karakachanov takes part in it, on the Bulgarian side, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
At the two-day forum, held on 13th and 14th February, NATO Defence Ministers discuss a number of key issues on the Alliance’s agenda that will pave the way for the meeting of the NATO Heads of State and Government, which is about to be held in London, in December this year.
Among the topics for discussion and consideration within the session are the fair burden-sharing, sharing of responsibilities, progress in implementing NATO’s commitment to investments in defense, ongoing NATO operations and missions, NATO-EU cooperation and the development of EU defense initiatives.
The yesterday’s meeting started with a session of the North Atlantic Council, where the participants discussed current issues in the area of the INF Treaty, and, in particular, the possible consequences for the Alliance, following the recent events related to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty have been considered and debated.
The meeting continued with talks devoted to the development of NATO’s deterrence and defensive potential, focusing on the Readiness Initiative, the strengthening concept of the Alliance and the progress in accelerating the implementation of the Framework for the South. NATO Defence Ministers have adopted new political guidelines for the goals and priorities of the next NATO defense planning cycle.
The first day of the forum ended with a working dinner, where the Defence Ministers discussed the issues related to the fair sharing of the burden and responsibilities in the Alliance, as well as, the progress achieved in implementing the commitment for investment in defense. During the working dinner, Bulgaria’s commitment to achieve its defense investment parameters, agreed in Wales in 2014 and set out in the National Plan for Increasing the Defence spending until 2024, was reaffirmed.
Yesterday, within the framework of the NATO forum in Brussels, Bulgaria’s Defence Minister Krasimir Karakachanov and the Defence Minister of the Republic of Northern Macedonia Radmila Shekerinska, held a meeting at the NATO Headquarters. Minister Shekerinska thanked Bulgaria for the support and stated that the Treaty of Friendship, Good-neighborliness and Cooperation with our country served as a basis for the achievement of the Prespa agreement and expressed her conviction that good cooperation between the two countries and the defence ministries would continue and strengthen.
In response, Krasimir Karakachanov noted that Bulgaria has always looked positively on Macedonia’s membership in NATO and EU. He informed his counterpart about the fact that yesterday morning Bulgaria’s Council of Ministers approved the protocol of the North Atlantic Treaty on the accession of the Republic of Northern Macedonia to NATO, and added he expected it to be ratified by the National Assembly. Minister Karakachanov pointed out that the cooperation agreement between the two countries was a good basis, but practical steps need to be taken to intensify its implementation.
The two ministers discussed the deepening of defence cooperation, the training of officers at the military educational institutions in Bulgaria, enhancing the qualification of Macedonian specialists in the field of military medicine, as well as the opportunities for conducting bilateral trainings and more actively joint participation in the Alliance’s exercises.
The deepening of cooperation in the field of defense between Bulgaria and Georgia was the focus of talks at the meeting between Defence Minister Krasimir Karakachanov and Georgia’s Defence Minister Levan Isoria, which was held yesterday, at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, within the framework of the session of the NATO Defence Ministers. During it, the two ministers expressed readiness to conduct joint exercises and share information on a number of issues of mutual interest, including these related to the Black Sea region.
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Source: MoD of the Republic of Bulgaria