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Bulgaria, Romania agree on third-country NATO air police operations in their airspace

On Thursday, March 18, Bulgarian Deputy Defense Minister Atanas Zapryanov held an official meeting in Russia with Deputy Minister of Defense Policy, Planning and International Relations at the Romanian Ministry of National Defense Simona Cojocaru. Brundusa Ioana Predescu, Romania’s Special Ambassador and Plenipotentiary to Bulgaria, also attended the bilateral consultations.

Bilateral and regional issues in the field of security and defense and in the context of the accession of both countries to NATO and the EU were discussed at the meeting. A protocol was also signed to amend the agreement between the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Government of Romania on cross-border air policing operations. The Protocol was adopted by a decision of the Council of Ministers on 16 December 2020, amending the basic agreement of 2011 between the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Government of Romania regarding cross-border airspace operations. Deputy Minister Zapryanov was authorized to conduct negotiations and sign the protocol on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria.

“By signing today the Protocol amending the 2011 Agreement between our two governments on cross-border airspace operations, we are developing and updating not only our national capabilities, but also those of third countries to successfully perform space protection tasks. Alliance airlines in both countries, “said Atanas Zapryanov after signing the protocol. “With this act, we reaffirm our commitment to strengthen bilateral defense cooperation in all its dimensions and aspects. I am convinced that through joint efforts we will be able to meet our Allied commitments and both our countries will continue to contribute to the protection of Alliance airspace security. “

Following the signing of the Protocol and its ratification by the Bulgarian and Romanian parliaments, the Allied Member States will be allowed, on the basis of the territories of the two countries, to conduct cross-border operations in the exercise of airspace protection (Air Policing).

Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening bilateral defense co-operation, as well as in the context of their NATO and EU membership.

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