HomeUnited StatesSecretary Antony J. Blinken And Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolaj Denkov Before Their...

Secretary Antony J. Blinken And Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolaj Denkov Before Their Meeting – United States Department of State

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, good morning, everyone.  It’s so good to have our Bulgarian colleagues here with us today.  I’m very much looking forward to this meeting.  Bulgaria is an extraordinary partner for the United States, for Europe.  We see that playing out every single day in a whole variety of ways, but we are working together to rapidly increase our civil nuclear cooperation.  Of course, we’re also working on military modernization, including with F-16s, with Strykers, and most significantly as well continuing to deepen integration between Bulgaria, the European Union, and NATO.

I want to thank you, all of the leadership, for the extraordinary assistance that Bulgaria has provided to Ukraine, and continues to provide every single day – leadership for security, for stability – both with regard to Ukraine, but more broadly, the entire Black Sea region.  And we see that, of course, in the military and humanitarian assistance that Bulgaria has provided; now the trilateral mine clearing that’s underway with Romania and Türkiye; and the genuine, real, powerful support for Ukrainians who have been forced to flee their homes as a result of the Russian aggression.

And finally, I would note the important work that we’re doing together to counter disinformation – a front in conflict that demands our attention.  So with that and in so many more ways, we’re grateful for you partnership, for the Alliance, and grateful for the opportunity to speak today.

PRIME MINISTER DENKOV:  Thank you, Mr. Secretary.  In the beginning of the Russian war in Ukraine, the position of Bulgaria became very important as part of Europe.  So, what we see is that Bulgaria is a key country for the defense and deterrence efforts in the Black Sea region.  Also, eastern (inaudible) NATO, what we see is that these capabilities should be upgraded – the mobility from (inaudible) to the north; the gas transit, again, from this region to the Central and Eastern Europe.  So, these are all problematic issues today that can be also used as opportunities to develop the region, and with the Bulgarian and the other Allies of NATO, the place to be sure that this is a stable region.  And we are very much committed, and that’s why we are here with many (inaudible) as well to work together and to place Bulgaria where it belongs to, and this is the structures of Europe and the structure of NATO, and to be reliable partners there.

And thank you very much for what you have done in the past.  We remember very well how important was your support, when Russia stopped the gas supply to Bulgaria.  And then you were there to help us, and we can rely on U.S. in the future.  Thank you.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you so much.  Thanks, everyone.

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