Bulgarian protesters have held a demonstration to condemn the government’s plan to allow the setting up of a NATO military command base on the country’s soil.
The demonstrators assembled in front of the presidency building in the capital city of Sofia on Sunday and later marched to the parliament, carrying banners that bore anti-EU and NATO messages.
“25 years of American democracy – robbery, ruin, destruction of the state,” read one banner.
The demonstrators also called for the resignation of Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev.
The protest came after NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced earlier this month that NATO would immediately be establishing command and control units in six eastern European states, including Bulgaria.
The Western military block has over the past year increased its presence and conducted several drills in Eastern Europe amid the crisis in Ukraine. In 2014, NATO forces held some 200 military exercises with Stoltenberg promising that such maneuvers would continue.
Russia has also condemned NATO’s exercises and military buildup toward its borders on numerous occasions.
A small group of people held anti-NATO banners in the center of Sofia Thursday. Photo by BGNES