Bulgaria to host up to eight Dutch fighter jets and 200 troops

Bulgaria to host up to eight Dutch fighter jets and 200 troops

NATO member Bulgaria will host up to eight Dutch warplanes and 200 troops to help it with its air policing tasks amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a government decision showed on Friday.

The Netherlands will put two warplanes on 24-hour duty in Bulgaria from April 1 until May 31 for air policing activities, in line with NATO’s integrated plan for air and anti-missile defence, the government said.

“For the implementation of these actions … from March 4 to June 24 on the territory of Bulgaria up to eight aircraft and up to 200 soldiers of Royal Netherlands Air Force will be deployed,” the government said in its decision.

Four Spanish fighter jets backed by 130 Spanish troops are currently supporting airspace surveillance of Bulgaria. The government has decided to extend their mission until April 15.

Bulgaria, on NATO’s eastern flank, is also setting up a battlegroup of up to 1,000 troops in close cooperation with the alliance.

The moves come in the third week of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. [Reuters]

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