BTA News

Defence Minister Calls Bulgarian Troops’ Participation in NATO’s Kosovo Mission “Valuable Experience”

The Bulgarian troops who participated in NATO’s Operational Reserve Force in Kosovo as part of the NATO-led peacekeeping mission KFOR and in the EU’s Operation Althea in Bosnia and Herzegovina were given a formal welcome in Blagoevgrad on Thursday. The servicepersons were greeted by Defence Minister Todor Tagarev, who said their participation in the mission raised their prestige. “This experience is extremely valuable for you personally, for your unit and for the Bulgarian Army,” he said.

Tagarev stressed that the government had considerably increased investments in the Armed Forces. In 2024, Bulgaria’s defence spending will top 2% of GDP, which will ensure the acquisition of new materiel, more intensive training and improved interoperability with the Allies.

Tagarev thanked the troops for their efforts, both during the operation and during their daily combat training.

Blagoevgrad Mayor Metodi Baikushev also thanked the troops on behalf of the municipality and all Bulgarians.

Regional Governor Maria Dimova said: “I am confident that throughout your five-month mission, you have spared no effort, and in this way you have once again proved and affirmed the authority of Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Army.”

Tagarev decorated troops who participated in NATO’s Operational Reserve Force in Kosovo.

In Kosovo, more than 100 Bulgarian Land Force troops performed tasks in support of efforts to restore and maintain security, including patrolling, guarding administrative buildings and maintaining a rapid reaction force, the Defence Ministry said.