site.btaNATO Prioritizes Boosting Deterrent and Defence Capability, Supporting Ukraine

NATO Prioritizes Boosting Deterrent and Defence Capability, Supporting Ukraine
NATO Prioritizes Boosting Deterrent and Defence Capability, Supporting Ukraine
Defence Minister Atanas Zapryanov (BTA Photo)

Boosting the deterrent and defence capability of the Alliance and supporting Ukraine within the context of preparations for the Washington Summit topped the agenda of NATO member countries' defence ministers on the second day of their meeting here on Friday.

Bulgaria was represented at the meeting by caretaker Defence Minister Atanas Zapryanov, his Ministry said in a press release on Friday.

Ministers attached paramount importance to the implementation of NATO's defence planning, including their adequate resourcing. The Allies further addressed the equitable distribution of burdens and responsibilities and discussed the meeting of the new Defence Investment Pledge (DIP), according to which at least 2% of GDP should be spent on defence annually rather than 2% at most.
 
"Implementing the defence plans of the Alliance should be a key priority," Zapryanov stressed in his statement at the meeting. He pointed out that Bulgaria increased its defence spending in 2024 and it already exceeds 2% of GDP. The Defence Minister confirmed his country's intention to maintain this level and increase it futher in coming years with a view to implementing the Programme for the Development of the Defence Capabilities of the Bulgarian Armed Forces until 2032.

At their meeting, the NATO defence ministers also discussed defence industry cooperation and the application of the Defence Production Action Plan, which aims at accelerating joint procurement, boosting production capacity and enhancing Allies' interoperability. Zapryanov called attention to the significance of NATO-EU cooperation for strengthening the European defence technological industrial base. He argued that all measures and steps to boost defence production capacity that are being taken at this point are essential.

Allied reached progress in preparing the decisions for the Washington Summit due this coming July and agreement with regard to the support provided to Ukraine as a key priorities of the Alliance. Zapryanov said in his statement that Bulgaria is backing a substantial package of decisions for the forthcoming Washington Summit on support to Ukraine, complete with a financing commitment.

On the sidelines of the meeting, the Defence Minister attended a ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of the Partnership for Peace Consortium of defence academies and security studies institutes. On behalf of Bulgaria, the G. S. Rakovski National Defence College has been actively involved in the operation of the Consortium since its establishment. The Superintendent of the College, Major General Stayko Prokopiev, was present at the anniversary ceremony. 

Within the framework of the forum, Defence Minister Zapryanov held bilateral meetings with his Danish, Italian and Czech counterparts, at which the sides discussed current issue on NATO's agenda and the preparations for the Washington Summit, the press release said.

/LG/

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By 15:04 on 20.07.2024 Today`s news

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