Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov: Accession to NATO is Bulgaria’s first and greatest achievement in its recent history


Accession to NATO was Bulgaria’s first and greatest achievement in its post 1989 history as it predetermined the clear course of the country’s development and the long-awaited return that generations had wished for to the family of European democracies. This was stated by Prime Minister Acad. Nikolai Denkov in his speech at the national conference “20 Years of Bulgaria in NATO: Because We Are Stronger Together”. The Prime Minister pointed out that today the Alliance is a guarantor of the peaceful life and security of more than one billion inhabitants in Europe and North America.


“Seventy-five years after its foundation, NATO has proved that it can successfully adapt to the threats and challenges that have recently been increasing. Allied force is the most powerful message to potential aggressors as unity strengthens our defense and security,” the Prime Minister said further. In his words, the expansion of the Alliance is essentially an expansion of the territory of democracy, rule of law, peace and security in all their dimensions. “There is no way to enjoy economic, energy, social, health, educational and administrative sustainability if the guarantees needed to defend the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Bulgaria are not there. We owe all this to our accession to NATO on 29 March 2004,” Acad. Nikolai Denkov said.


The Prime Minister emphasized the opportunities missed in the last ten years. “Bulgaria could have made progress in the modernization of its armed forces a long time ago if the defense spending was not cut to just over 1% of the GDP between 2011 and 2018 in order to have ‘a lean pizza’ for the army and for the security of Bulgarian citizens given the excesses for the Kremlin’s projects such as Turk Stream and for the spur to corruption in Bulgaria,” Nikolai Denkov noted. The Prime Minister pointed out that Bulgaria could have been energy-independent and free of the tending of the Kremlin’s unbridled geopolitical ambitions, including thereby the support for the military aggression against Ukraine. “True, democracy triumphs in Bulgaria in the long run. However, it triumphs namely owing to the tireless work of the people who contributed to Bulgaria’s reunion into the family of developed democracies as a member of NATO and of the European Union. This was the awareness of responsibility of those of our forerunners who did not succumb to the corruption temptations of the Kremlin,” Acad. Nikolai Denkov recalled.


Prime Minister Acad. Nikolai Denkov said firmly that Bulgaria could not bypass the next ten years of NATO adaptation. “Our priority task is to be active actors in this process. In addition to reliance on collective capabilities in all aspects of security and defense, we are bound to develop our own capabilities as well,” Nikolai Denkov said. In his view, this is only possible on the basis of a clear vision and consistent and steadfast policy in addition to the breakage, once and forever, of the chains and webs of corruption dependencies from the years of transition.


“The fact that today the Kremlin is fighting an aggressive hybrid war against Bulgaria is direct proof of the triumph of democracy in our country, and Bulgaria’s accession to NATO and to the EU plays a major role in this,” Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov said. As he put it, the Alliance guarantees our security by collective defense, shared responsibility, a strong transatlantic relationship and NATO’s strong ability to adapt to changing challenges and threats to security.