Defence Minister Karakachanov: Current Situation in Syria Won't Lead to Migrant Pressure Increase

Defence Minister Karakachanov: Current Situation in Syria Won't Lead to Migrant Pressure Increase

Varna, on the Black Sea, October 20 (BTA) - There are no reasons to expect migrant pressure on Bulgaria to increase after the recent escalation of tensions in Syria, said here on Sunday Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Krassimir Karakachanov, who attended a charity event organized by his VMRO party. According to him, the refugees in the vicinity of the current conflict are fleeing to Syria's and Iraq's interiors, and not towards Turkey and Europe. The problem is that if the Kurds stop to protect the detention camps where jihadists are being held, some of them could renew military actions or merge with other migrants and head to Europe, the Defence Minister said.

The situation along Bulgaria's borders is currently calm and pressure is minimal, Karakachanov said, expressing his personal opinion that Turkey's President will not let the migrants come into Europe, since such a move could place him in complete isolation.

Commenting on the planned construction of multi-role patrol ships for the Bulgarian Navy, Karakachanov said he expects the contract to be signed next spring. According to preliminary information, the two ships will most likely be built in Bulgaria, and more specifically in Varna, he explained.

Karakachanov said his Ministry's leadership continues to demand that defence expenditures be increased in next year's budget. According to him, military personnel's salaries will be increased for sure, but there will be a differentiation and those serving in more difficult conditions in combat units will get more funds.

Commenting on relations with North Macedonia, Karakachanov said Skopje has to give up on falsifying history and its claims about the existence of a Macedonian ethnic minority in Bulgaria. He noted that Bulgaria must protect its national interests, keeping in mind that if North Macedonia is admitted to the EU, it will escalate its anti-Bulgarian claims. "Some wannabe democrats are popping up here at home, explaining that if we stop (North) Macedonia, she will fall under Moscow's influence. These are cliches, it is exactly the opposite. Lets not comment (the fact) that some of those making these statements are well paid by Skopje's propaganda funds," Karakachanov said.

Source: Varna