Bulgarian Military Overseas Missions, Operations in 2019 Cost Lv 20.9 Mln - Defence Minister

January 17 (BTA) - The financial resources spent on the
participation of Bulgarian military in overseas missions and
operations in 2019 amounted to 20,932,400 leva rather than to a
billion, Bulgarian Defence Minister Krasimir Karakachanov said,
addressing Parliament during Question Time on Friday.

Answering a question from independent MP Pavel Shopov (Ataka),
Karakachanov said that the upkeep of the Bulgarian contingents
cost 32 million leva for 2014, 11 million leva for 2015, 11
million leva for 2016, 12 million leva for 2017 and 16 million
leva for 2018.

The Defence Minister specified that Bulgaria contributes up to
160 service persons to the NATO-led train, advise and assist
Mission Resolute Support in Afghanistan, including an electronic
 intelligence group, a safeguard company at Kandahar Airport, a
team of advisers training the Afghan National Army and staff
officers. The upkeep of the Bulgarian service persons there cost
 some 14 million leva for 2019.

Bulgaria's participation in the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR)
with up to 26 service persons cost this country 1,915,400 leva
last year. A total of 1,343,700 leva were spent on the
maintenance of up to 11 Bulgarian military participating in
Operation EUFOR Althea in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Two Bulgarian staff officers are in Iraq as part of the
non-combat training and advisory NATO Mission Iraq. A
four-member military medical team participates in the European
Union Training Mission in Mali (EUTM Mali), and five service
persons are in the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in

One Bulgarian officer participates in the European Union Naval
Force (EU NAVFOR) Operation Atalanta, which deters, prevents and
 represses acts of piracy and armed robbery off the coast of
Somalia. One Bulgarian staff officer is part of the European
Union Naval Force Mediterranean (EU NAVFOR Med) Operation

Karakachanov commented that Afghanistan has been for years a
hotbed of radical Islam and terrorism. "Kosovo is literally on
the Bulgarian ethnic boundary. The same applies to Bosnia. The
presence of Bulgarian military there is absolutely justified,"
the Defence Minister argued. RY/LG


Source: Sofia