UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon announced that Britain would be sending a Type 45 destroyer to Bulgarian shores in the Black Sea next year.
The Royal Navy deployment is part of a broader goal to deepen the defense relationship between the two countries to help tackle security threats in South Eastern Europe.
During the first visit to Sofia by a UK Cabinet member since the EU Referendum, Fallon said he was committed to helping Bulgaria deal with increased militarisation in the Crimea and the Black Sea, and greater Russian military transfers through the Bosporus.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “A vote to leave the EU will not change Britain’s commitment to European and Global security. We are more determined than ever to uphold our defence responsibilities which is why we are doing more in the world today, not less. The UK is a global power with global influence and we’re determined to continue using it for the global good.”
The Defence Secretary met with his Bulgarian counterpart Nikolay Nenchev and confirmed that the UK will send a Type 45 destroyer to the Black Sea in Spring 2017. This follows on from the UK gift of 40 Land Rovers to the Bulgarian Border Force this summer.
Since the Wales NATO Summit in 2014 the UK has stepped up bi-lateral work with Bulgaria, including several joint exercises, two of which took place on Bulgarian territory for the first time in a decade. British Army and Royal Marine personnel have been collaborating with NATO forces on a range of exercises to improve interoperability. The T45 Destroyer visit follows-on from HMS Duncan’s participation in a training exercise alongside a Bulgarian Navy minesweeper in November last year – the first major Royal Navy vessel in the Black Sea for seven years.