Velizar Shalamanov: Let’s stop the dependence on the Russian Military Industrial Complex this year

Velizar Shalamanov

The Russians know very well that there is no way for NATO to return to 1997, they are just turning the big bargain, Karakachanov believes

The Bulgarian president and government reacted correctly, former Defense Minister Krassimir Karakachanov told BTV about their position on the Kremlin’s demand that Bulgaria withdraw NATO troops and weapons.

He added: the Russians know very well that there is no way for NATO to return to its old positions from 1997. By asking such a question, they are turning the big bargain on Ukraine and NATO.

We must end this year any dependence of our defense on the Russian military-industrial complex and not allow Russian specialists in our units related to combat duty and especially in the field of air patrols, said another former defense minister – Velizar Шаламанов.

There is no way to remove all Russian armaments from today to tomorrow for the simple reason that there is nothing else, Karakachanov countered. There is, but it costs money that Bulgaria cannot bring together.

Ukraine can replace absolutely everything that Russia’s military-industrial complex is doing, we must stop financing Russia’s military-industrial complex, Shalamanov said.

We are giving up Russian armaments and arming the army with whips, Karakachanov joked.

He said there were no NATO or American troops in Bulgaria. We have joint sites where training is conducted.

In Bulgaria, there is a Center for the Integration of Forces in Wales since 2014 – a multinational structure designed to manage the deployment of NATO troops in exercises and operations and field communication and information module, said Shalamanov.

There are representatives in various structures, we are a NATO country, and we have representatives, for example, in the multinational brigade in Romania, and wherever there are similar NATO structures, these are not NATO troops. This claim is absolutely pointless and they know it, Karakachanov said.

According to him, Bulgaria should be one of the voices in NATO and the EU, which should hold a dialogue and agreement on mutual deterrence and guarantees, and not the rattling of weapons, because what will be the response of the Russians – short-range missiles in Serbia, nuclear weapons in Belarus, in Syria their missile and space forces, in Cuba, possibly Nicaragua and Venezuela – too. The world will not become more secure if we go to confrontation, Karakachanov said.

Regarding the fact that Spain and the Netherlands will send planes to Bulgaria to protect our airspace, Shalamanov said that this is a demonstration of solidarity. The two Spanish and two Dutch planes are not a sign of impending aggression, Karakachanov said.

In this context, the presenter said that in 2016, Air Force Commander Rumen Radev submitted a report to leave, because foreign planes will guard Bulgarian airspace for a fee. Correct then gene. Radev submitted a report because he took the opposite position to his defense minister, it is a pity that the prime minister did not accept this report, Shalamanov said. At the time, I saw it more as a gesture of a commander than as a political move, Karakachanov said, adding that it had nothing to do with the current situation.

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