Bulgaria, United States to Start Military Drills Amid Ukraine Crisis

The Bulgarian defense ministry said on Friday NATO allies Bulgaria and the United States will stage a series of joint military drills over the next three and a half months, amid increased tensions with Russia over the Ukraine crisis. Army officers will arrive in the Balkan country to take part in the bilateral drills, which begin on Sunday and will be conducted at the Novo Selo training range in southeastern Bulgaria. Bulgaria and other ex-communist countries in eastern Europe that are now inside NATO and the European Union have been rattled by Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Black Sea peninsula of Crimea and its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.