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Minister Mitov: NATO should expand framework of dialogue with Russia

БНР Новини

The protocol photo taken during the official dinner of the leaders of the NATO member states during the NATO summit in Warsaw perhaps provoked some associations with the past. This is so, because the summit was held in the same conference hall, where in 1955 the Warsaw Pact was signed. Warsaw was not chosen to host this year's NATO summit by accident - apparently NATO treated its eastern partners with due respect, against the backdrop of sharpened relations between the West and Russia and when security in Europe is facing difficult times.

A series of analyses and discussions were held after the NATO summit. The first discussion in Sofia was hosted by the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria. Bulgaria's Minister of Foreign Affairs Daniel Mitov and Bulgaria's Deputy Minister of Defense Atanas Zapryanov attended the discussion. Minister Mitov and Deputy Minister Zapryanov provided details about the NATO summit during the discussion. In Minister Mitov's words, the countries rendered an account of the fact that in the course of two whole decades NATO has been trying to build partnership with Russia. The NATO allies united around the stand that the dialogue with Moscow should continue. The alliance remains open for focused and meaningful dialogue with the Russian Federation. Meanwhile the NATO countries will continue to work on their collective defense, Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov specified. He also said categorically that NATO was not seeking confrontation and does not pose a threat to Russia, but it can't compromise with its principles which guarantee overall security.

Снимка“The dialogue between NATO and Russia is held on two levels. First, we communicate on an operational level, which prevents any types of military accidents. However, we should expand the framework of dialogue with Russia. We often hear from the Russian Federation that its actions are purely defensive, that it was protecting its specific cultural code. Let us decipher that cultural code in conversations and see what exactly Russia has been defending and why that code is incompatible with the European and the North-Atlantic values. The values of the NATO members are clear. However, we would like to know how Russia imagines the world. I believe that this conversation is yet to be held with the Russian Federation”, Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov said.

The Ambassador of Poland to Sofia Krzysztof Krajewski made an indirect address to Russia. In his words, Poland's security was guaranteed with the deployment of a NATO battalion on its territory, which happens 17 years after Poland joined NATO.

Снимка“The fact that this year the NATO summit was held in Warsaw means that the alliance would not abandon its main purpose. The countries from the Eastern Wing are full members of NATO and share the same rights and obligations related to collective defense. The deployment of multinational NATO divisions along its eastern border is an act of this equal status. Meanwhile, NATO proved that it is a defensive alliance. It would not undertake any hostile actions against anyone, if it is not subject to provocations.”

In his speech Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Defense Atanas Zapryanov accentuated on the main function of NATO - it is a body of collective defense. He quoted the fundamental Article 5 of the Washington Pact, which reads that a military attack against one or more NATO members means an attack against all member states. Although the decisions taken at the NATO summit in Warsaw regarded a series of other important security issues, the issue related to the confrontation with Russia prevailed:

Снимка“Those who over exaggerate the relations between NATO and Russia forget that the NATO members discussed a much broader range of topics and Russia was not the only topic during the summit. We paid attention to other neighboring regions, rather than to NATO's Eastern Wing only. We discussed the threats and the risks stemming from those regions, as well as the decisions and the measures the NATO countries should take, in order to deal with those problems,” Deputy Minister of Defense Atanas Zapryanov explained.

With regard to NATO's presence in the Black Sea Bulgarian Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov commented that NATO showed determination during the summit in Warsaw to protect its Black Sea countries through intensive military trainings under its flag. Minister Mitov explained that the establishment of another regional initiative within the NATO frameworks was not on the agenda. The leaders of the NATO countries agreed to start a regional talk about the parameters of NATO's future presence in the Black Sea.

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

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