Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby provides the following readout:
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met with Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov and Minister of Defence Dragomir Zakov in Sofia today. Secretary Austin affirmed U.S. appreciation for the U.S.-Bulgarian strategic partnership and reiterated U.S. commitment to the security of NATO's Eastern Flank during this critical time.
The leaders noted transatlantic unity among NATO Allies in responding to Russia's unjustified and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Secretary Austin thanked Bulgaria for its humanitarian contributions to Ukraine and for hosting a new multinational NATO battlegroup.
The Secretary started his visit to Bulgaria yesterday by meeting with U.S. and Bulgarian forces at Novo Selo to express appreciation for their service and contributions to combined training efforts to increase NATO interoperability and signal Allied unity and resolve.