site.btaDefence Minister Tagarev Urges for Long-term EU Commitment to Support Ukraine
"Bulgaria fully shares the view on the need for a long-term commitment of the European Union to support Ukraine and contribute to its security in order to guarantee the free and democratic European future of the country," Defence Minister Todor Tagarev said at the informal meeting of EU Defence Ministers here on Wednesday. Discussions were held on the EU's contribution and commitments to Ukraine's security, as well as the consequences of Russian aggression against Ukraine at the regional and global level, Tagarev's Ministry reported.
"An important element of this support must remain the provision of military assistance and training to the Ukrainian armed forces for as long as necessary," Minister Tagarev said. He underlined that Bulgaria welcomes the proposal to strengthen support to Ukraine within the framework of the European Peace Facility, which has already proven its effectiveness in providing timely military support to Ukraine. "We attach particular importance to preserving the rules and methodology of the Instrument in terms of member states' contributions, which ensures solidarity and inclusiveness," Tagarev added.
The Defence Ministers discussed the European External Action Service's proposal to create a dedicated package for Ukraine under the European Peace Facility and the EU's long-term commitment to Ukraine's security.
Minister Tagarev noted that support for Ukraine should be linked to ongoing efforts to strengthen the European defence industry, including with appropriate incentives for member states.
The Bulgarian Defence Minister stressed the importance of accelerating work on the draft regulation on the European Defence Investment Programme (EDIP) to ensure more sustainable investment in member states' defence capabilities in the long term, with appropriate incentives to be provided by the Commission.
Minister Tagarev highlighted the role of the European Union Military Assistance Mission in support of Ukraine (EUMAM) as an essential element of the Union's overall defence support to that country. He said that Bulgaria is considering expanding its contribution to EUMAM in line with Ukraine's needs, with a focus on training combat medics, as well as contributing to the training of ground personnel in the use of F-16 aircraft.
Minister Tagarev called for a united and coordinated response to the aggressive hybrid actions carried out by Russia, including the elimination of the division between Schengen and non-Schengen countries, which the Kremlin regularly uses to bring tension into the EU.
At Wednesday's second session, the Defence Minister reaffirmed Bulgaria's support for the Euro-Atlantic development path for Ukraine.
On August 29, in Torrejon de Ardos, EU Defence Ministers participated in a meeting of the EU Satellite Centre Board. The meeting was part of the agenda of the first meeting of Defence Ministers under the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU.