NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, is expected to visit Bulgaria on May 20, 2010, Bulgarian media report.
This will be Rasmussen’s first visit to Bulgaria since he was appointed NATO’s secretary general in April 2009.
The Secretary General is expected to meet with Bulgaria’s PM Boyko Borisov, President Georgi Parvanov, Bulgarian Parliamentary speaker Tsetska Tsacheva and Bulgaria’s Defense Minister Anyu Angelov.
Experts claim that the visit aims to prepare Bulgaria, which is a member of NATO, for the NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal at the end of 2010 where the new NATO military doctrine will be adopted.
The doctrine will focus on implementing reforms in the alliance, fighting terrorism and cyber space crimes and guaranteeing energy stability to the NATO member-states.
One of the most important issues that the doctrine will tackle is establishing an anti-missile defense system.
Brussels plans to deploy anti-missile elements in Bulgaria and negations are set to begin after the NATO summit in Portugal.
NATO foreign ministers agreed at their informal meeting in Estonia at the end of April, 2010 to begin dialogue with Russia on cooperation in the sphere of anti-missile defense.
In February 2010, Romania and Bulgaria said they were in talks with the US on deploying elements of the US missile shield in Europe after the Obama Administration abandoned the plans of its predecessors to base the system in Poland and the Czech Republic.