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Bulgaria pledges continued support for NATO's enlargement
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09:03, April 03, 2008

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Bulgaria will continue to back NATO's absorption of Macedonia, Albania, Croatia, Ukraine and Georgia while insisting for the compliance with the accession criteria, Bulgarian Foreign Ministry spokesman Dimiter Tsanchev said Wednesday.

He told reporters that at a regular Foreign Ministry briefing which focused on the agenda of the NATO summit beginning in Bucharest Wednesday.

Bulgaria wants to see membership invitations being extended to all three countries of the Adriatic Troika: Albania, Croatia and Macedonia, Tsanchev said.

Bulgaria is a principled supporter of extending a NATO membership invitation to Macedonia and a possible blocking of the accession of Macedonia "would mean delaying the process of European and Euro-Atlantic integration," said Tsanchev.

It believes that a possible blocking of the invitation to Macedonia should not and would not affect the invitation to the other two Adriatic Troika countries, added the spokesman.

As for Georgia and Ukraine, Bulgaria and the other NATO members are "supportive of their aspirations to European and Euro-Atlantic cooperation which is important for the processes in Europe," said Tsanchev.

Yet, he added that the transition from an active dialogue to an action plan with the two former Soviet Republics did not necessarily mean their NATO membership was certain.

When asked whether Bulgaria's support for Georgia and Ukraine's accession to NATO would affect its relations with Russia, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson said the decision of the North Atlantic alliance were sovereign, and that they should not be considered as directed against third countries.


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