Bulgaria Urges EU-NATO Coordination, Missile Shield

Bulgaria Urges EU-NATO Coordination, Missile Shield

The EU and NATO must seek not to double their functions and resources, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov told the NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels Thursday.

Mladenov took part in the meeting together with Bulgaria's Defense Minister Anyu Angelov.

Thursday's forum has emerged as a preparation of the Lisbon Summit of the Alliance in November, which is supposed to make crucial decisions on NATO's new Strategic Concept, the US-NATO missile defense in Europe, and the powers of the Secretary-General, among others, in a time when the United States and key Western European allies are growing further apart on NATO's future role.

In their statements at the meeting, both ministers expressed their content with the fact that the draft of the new NATO Strategic Concept had incorporated all of Bulgaria's suggestions for emphasis.

These include the key importance of Article 5 about the collective security of the NATO allies, energy security, an "open-door" policy, and reaction to new threats.

While stressing the importance of better coordination between NATO and the EU in order to avoid the wasting of resources and efforts, Bulgaria's Foreign Minister Mladenov also underscored the importance of the NATO perspective for the countries in the Western Balkans.

Defense Minister Angelov on his part expressed his confidence that the US missile defense in Europe will be adopted as a NATO-wide project in November.

Angelov and Mladenov declared their understanding that the missile shield must become an incentive for mutual trust between NATO and Russia rather than a factor pushing them further apart.

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