2015 To Walk the Earth in Safety: Bulgaria

Bureau of Political-Military Affairs

Despite declaring itself mine-free in 1999, Bulgaria remains at risk from its massive stockpile of conventional arms and munitions left over from the Cold War era. The Chelopechene munitions depot explosion in 2008 serves as a stark reminder of the continued humanitarian, security, and financial challenges emanating from these weapons. The blast damaged area homes and temporarily closed the international airport and a major highway in the capital of Sofia. Although clearance of the site concluded in 2012, PSSM remains at the forefront of CWD assistance to Bulgaria.

From FY2001 through FY2014, the United States invested more than $10.5 million for CWD programs in Bulgaria. In FY2014, the U.S. government contributed $31,000 for CWD in Bulgaria.

The Department of State supported the work of the following implementing partner (using FY2013 funding):

• NSPA assisted Bulgaria with PSSM improvements to their arms depots, and provided equipment upgrades to the Zmeevo Testing Facility.

With Department of Defense funding, USEUCOM deployed military EOD personnel to conduct UXO disposal training, including UXO and landmine education and risk reduction. It also included program assessment visits to monitor and improve all aspects of the UXO disposal program. The OHDACA appropriation funded humanitarian mine-action program activities, supplies, equipment, and services.