Bulgaria misses start of NATO naval exercise due to COVID-19

Bulgaria will miss the start of Poseidon 21, the first NATO multinational naval exercise of 2021, because sailors got infected with the coronavirus. [Shutterstock/ Sergej Razvodovskij]

Bulgaria will miss the start of Poseidon 21, the first NATO multinational naval exercise of 2021, after a group of its sailors were infected with the coronavirus.

The exercises, organised by the Romanian Naval Forces (FNR) and to be held in the Black Sea, will include the participation of the FNR along with forces from Bulgaria, France, Greece, Spain, the US, and Turkey.

“In order to avoid the spread of the disease during navigation and to protect the health of the participants in the exercise, it has been decided to keep the crews of the Bulgarian ships quarantined. Thus, if necessary, immediate medical assistance can be provided to the sailors. The possible spread of COVID-19 would also hinder the achievement of the objectives of the exercise”, the country’s defence ministry explained.

Defence Minister Krassimir Karakachanov confirmed that five people from the two participating Bulgarian ships tested positive for COVID-19. “Since the crews are together – they had to remain in quarantine. Bulgaria will join this exercise in 14 days,” Karakachanov added.

(Krassen Nikolov | EURACTIV.bg)

Subscribe to our newsletters

Subscribe