Bulgaria to send its first military aid to Ukraine

    WORLD  09 December 2022 - 17:46

    Bulgaria will send its first military aid to Ukraine since the Russian invasion after parliament on December 9 approved a list of arms drawn up by the interim government.

    It had been one of the few EU countries not to send aid after the Russia-friendly Socialist party, a coalition partner in the previous government, blocked a previous proposal in May, Reuters reports.

    The list of arms is classified, but government officials have said Sofia would mainly send light weaponry and ammunition.

    Caretaker defence minister Dimitar Stoyanov said Bulgaria, a NATO member, could not afford to send its Russian-made anti-aircraft missile systems or MIG-19 and SU-25 fighter jets, which Kyiv wants.

    "My approach has been conservative, because I need to ensure the defence capabilities of Bulgaria. The aid is fully in line with Ukraine's priorities, but we are not sending S-300 systems, nor MIG-29 or SU-25 aircraft," Stoyanov told Nova TV on Friday.

    While Bulgaria has not been sending arms to Ukraine, its arms manufacturers have seen a surge in exports, a report by the Bulgarian Industrial Association showed in November.

    In August, the economy ministry approved arms export deals worth more than 1 billion levs ($540.22 million), most of which were destined for Poland - one of the key hubs for sending weapons to Ukraine.

    A total of 148 lawmakers from the 240-seat parliament voted to send the aid on Friday, with the Socialists and the pro-Russian Revival party voting against.

    Caliber.Az

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