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Bulgaria calls for expanding NATO's presence in Black Sea region and Balkans

Bulgaria calls for expanding NATO's presence in Black Sea region and Balkans Bulgarian Prime Minister Dimitar Glavchev (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

Bulgarian Prime Minister Dimitar Glavchev has called for an expanded NATO presence in the Black Sea region and the Western Balkans, citing Mediapool.

He said that no other region in NATO and the European Union has been as severely impacted by Russia's war against Ukraine as the Black Sea region.

"Therefore, the need to implement a strategic approach to the Black Sea was one of the main conclusions of the Second Black Sea Security Conference held within the framework of the International Crimea Platform, which took place in Sofia this April," Glavchev said.

He added that through the war against Ukraine, Russia aims to establish unquestionable dominance in the Black Sea, expand its influence in the Western Balkans, and more broadly in the South Caucasus region.

Black Sea region

A full-scale war between Russia and Ukraine has been ongoing since February 2022. Military actions are being conducted, notably in the waters of the Black Sea, significantly affecting the security of the entire region.

Specifically, the Russians have mined the Black Sea waters, affecting Bulgaria and Romania, as mines regularly drift to their shores. Additionally, dolphins are being harmed by these sea mines.

On January 11, in Istanbul, the defense ministers of Bulgaria, Romania, and Türkiye signed a memorandum of understanding, launching a trilateral initiative to neutralize explosive devices in the Black Sea.