Bulgarian daily Dnevnik reports that Defense Minister Todor Tagarev expressed concern over Russia’s ongoing blockade of Bulgaria’s exclusive economic zone in the Black Sea, calling it a direct challenge to Bulgaria’s security and economic interests. The blockade, which has persisted for two months, is set to continue as Russia conducts military exercises in the region.
In response, Bulgaria is considering various countermeasures, both independently and in collaboration with allies. Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov, for instance, has proposed accelerating the procurement of coastal missile anti-ship complexes.
On the topic of NATO’s presence in Bulgaria, Tagarev highlighted last year’s decision to station battle groups on the alliance’s eastern flank. While discussions are underway about the exact number of troops to be stationed in Bulgaria, estimates suggest a peacetime presence of around 1,500 personnel. The final location for the deployment remains undecided.
Image source: Official portrait, Ministry of Defense Republic of Bulgaria