“Bulgaria is successfully fulfilling its commitment for defence investments, agreed at the 2014 Summit Meeting in Wales,” said Prime Minister Boyko Borissov during his meeting with the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee Sir Stuart Peach.
The Bulgarian Prime Minister stressed that our country is determined to continue increasing its defence budget in order to meet the set targets. From the beginning of 2018 the National Plan for Increasing Defence Spending until 2024 has been successfully implemented in Bulgaria. "With the purchase of 8 F-16V Block 70 aircraft this year, the target has already been reached and by the end of 2019 defence spending is expected to exceed 3% of GDP," Prime Minister Boyko Borissov told Sir Stuart Peach.
The Prime Minister added that our country's membership in NATO and the EU is the basis of Bulgaria's defence policy. Its goals are focused on three main areas - increasing defence spending, modernization and rearmament, as well as overcoming the shortage of personnel in the Armed Forces.
Prime Minister Borissov pointed out that the rearmament and the modernization of the Armed Forces is a key long-term priority for Bulgaria with a ten-year horizon. "The priority is to carry out projects through which capabilities are acquired to support the implementation of the agreed upon Alliance's capability Objectives," Prime Minister Boyko Borissov also said.
The Prime Minister also pointed out that our country has focused its efforts on promoting the military profession and increasing its competitiveness in the labor market. "Active measures are also being taken to create the right conditions to retain sufficiently motivated professionals in the sector," Prime Minister Borissov said.
A focus of the conversation with Sir Stuart Peach was also the security and stability of the Western Balkans, which is a strategic priority for Bulgaria and NATO. "Many efforts have been made over the years, there are successes, but many challenges remain," pointed out Prime Minister Borissov. An emphasis during the meeting was put on the fact that NATO could not afford to withdraw its attention from the Western Balkans.
Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee Sir Stuart Peach also discussed transatlantic relations and cooperation between NATO and the EU, as well as topics from the Alliance's agenda.