Bulgaria denies US missile talks

Last week, Prime Minister Boiko Borisov said the U.S. would hold preliminary talks with Bulgaria.

Bulgaria denies US missile talks

Bulgaria has not held official talks with the United States on hosting parts of a U.S. missile shield, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said on Friday after Russia demanded an explanation from Sofia on the issue.

Last week, Prime Minister Boiko Borisov said the U.S. would hold preliminary talks with Bulgaria.

On Thursday, Russia asked Bulgaria's ambassador to Moscow to explain the "goals and essence" of those talks.

"There have been no official talks with the U.S. on this issue," Bulgaria's foreign ministry spokeswoman said.

Vesela Cherneva said the Balkan country, a NATO and European Union member, had so far not received an official invitation for talks. Sofia will continue to stick to NATO's joint approach in taking decisions on security and defence, the ministry said.

Alexander Vershbow, U.S. assistant defence secretary for international security affairs, told Reuters in an interview on Thursday that Washington had "not asked" Bulgaria to host any missile shield elements so far.

He said Moscow knew last year Romania was a possible site and reiterated the missile defence plans were "not aimed at Russia".

Russia sees the plan as a threat to its own nuclear arsenal and has bristled at what it sees as U.S. meddling in its sphere of influence. Most of Eastern Europe was part of the Moscow-led Warsaw Pact during the Cold War.


Reuters

Last Mod: 19 Şubat 2010, 15:46
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