Europe and Eurasia: Bulgaria’s Defense Modernization

Press Statement

Michael R. Pompeo

Secretary of State

Washington, DC
December 19, 2018

The United States welcomes Bulgaria’s defense modernization plans and looks forward to the country’s imminent selection of a new multirole fighter aircraft.

As I emphasized during my phone call with Prime Minister Boyko Borissov on December 18, and as Deputy Secretary Sullivan underlined during his visit to Sofia last weekend, the United States is committed to working with the Bulgarian government to tailor the final scope of a potential F-16 sale to fit its budgetary and operational requirements, while still offering superior capabilities.

The United States has provided more than $200 million in security assistance to Bulgaria over the last 25 years to increase military professionalization and NATO interoperability. The United States has also invested more than $100 million in upgrades to the Novo Selo Training Center and Graf Ignatievo air base as part of the European Deterrence Initiative, and plans to continue such upgrades in the future. The United States will continue to prioritize investments with Bulgaria that build NATO interoperability.

The United States looks forward to completing final negotiations with the Bulgarian government.