Italian President Mattarella Visits NATO Troops in Bulgaria

Italian President Mattarella visits NATO base in Bulgaria, highlighting Italy's commitment to collective defense and solidarity with allies amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Sakchi Khandelwal
New Update
Italian President Mattarella Visits NATO Troops in Bulgaria

Italian President Mattarella Visits NATO Troops in Bulgaria

Italian President Sergio Mattarella visited the NATO base in Novo Selo, Bulgaria, on Tuesday, accompanied by Bulgarian President Rumen Radev. The visit aimed to demonstrate the strong military cooperation between Italy and Bulgaria within the NATO framework and express solidarity with the Italian troops serving abroad.

During his visit, Mattarella met with the Italian contingent of the Multinational Battlegroup Bulgaria and received military honors. In his address to the Italian troops, the president highlighted Italy's commitment to NATO's collective defense and solidarity with its allies. He emphasized that the Italian Armed Forces carry out tasks aimed at achieving peace and security, which is a constant characteristic of their international missions entrusted by Parliament and the government.

Approximately 700 Italian military personnel are participating in this NATO mission on the eastern borders of the European Union. The Italian contingent, led by Colonel Mariano R. Scandurra, is deployed with the C1 'Ariete' main battle tanks and is engaged in training activities with other NATO tactical groups along the alliance's eastern flank, from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea.

Mattarella underlined that these international missions are carried out to guarantee and restore peace where it is endangered and that Italy makes a great contribution to the international community through these efforts. He also praised the Italian military's sense of humanity, friendliness with local populations, and professional competence, which he said is a source of pride for Italy.

Why this matters: The visit demonstrates Italy's active participation in NATO missions and its contribution to the alliance's efforts to ensure the defense of its member states. It also serves to strengthen the bonds between the Italian and Bulgarian armed forces and highlights the importance of NATO's presence in the region, particularly in light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, who accompanied Mattarella during the visit, praised the Bulgarian servicepersons for their responsible actions, which contribute to the security of the country, the region, and the overall development of Bulgaria. Caretaker Minister of Defence Atanas Zapryanov stated that the NATO multinational battle group at the base is a solution for the collective defense of the eastern flank and expected the 2024 Washington summit to highly evaluate Bulgaria's battle group and all NATO forces deployed on the eastern flank.

Key Takeaways

  • Italian President Mattarella visited NATO base in Novo Selo, Bulgaria.
  • Visit aimed to demonstrate Italy-Bulgaria military cooperation in NATO.
  • 700 Italian troops deployed with tanks for training on NATO's eastern flank.
  • Mattarella praised Italian military's professionalism and contribution to peace.
  • Visit strengthened NATO's presence in the region amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine.