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Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has had a telephone conversation with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the government press office reported. "I highly value NATO’s role in protecting our security, freedom and democratic values. For us, Bulgaria's national security and defence are ensured only within the framework of NATO's collective defence," Prime Minister Borissov told Stoltenberg.
The two spoke on the eve of the NATO Summit of Heads of State or Government, which will be held on 3 and 4 December 2019 in London. Bulgaria's prime minister said that given today's risks and challenges to the international security, this country views the unity of Europe and North America as more important than ever. "For Bulgaria, the transatlantic link is at the heart of our collective defence," said Boyko Borissov.
In his conversation with Stoltenberg, the prime minister noted that since the beginning of 2018, Bulgaria has successfully been implementing the plans for increasing the defence expenditure until 2024. "With the advance payment of 8 F-16V Block 70 aircraft, this objective has already been achieved, and by the end of 2019, spending is expected to reach 3.1% of GDP,” PM Borissov said. He told Stoltenberg that the country's goals are focused on three main areas - increasing defence spending, modernisation and rearmament, and overcoming the shortage of personnel in the Armed Forces. "Bulgaria will continue to support the Alliance's efforts to achieve global peace and security. We consider our participation in NATO missions and operations a top priority and intend to maintain our commitment and contribution to them,” Borissov said.