Marin Dimitrov told reporters that he had filed a lawsuit against the May 11 incident. According to the agency, the US Army conducted the Rapid Response Exercise 2021, which was conducted in Estonia, Bulgaria and Romania, in which more than 7,000 paratroopers from ten NATO countries participated.
As part of the exercise, American soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade deployed in Italy were trained to occupy, clean and secure an abandoned air base in southern Bulgaria.
On May 11, American paratroopers entered a facility near the airport, which they thought belonged to the training area, and also “cleaned” it. In fact, it was a space where Bulgarian civilians ran their own businesses.
“Not a single shot was fired during the incident,” the US military said in a statement.
However, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev described it as “totally unacceptable that the life and peace of Bulgarian citizens should be threatened by military forces, both Bulgarian and foreign.”
“Exercises on Bulgarian soil with the participation of our allies should enhance a sense of security and confidence in collective defense, and not create tensions between Bulgarians,” he added.
The US Embassy in Bulgaria has apologized to the businessman and his staff.
“We are always learning from these exercises. We are meticulously investigating the cause of this error,” the diplomats said, vowing to introduce strict procedures that clearly define the scope of the exercises and prevent similar incidents in the future.
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