After Friday’s approval by parliament of a list containing arms compiled by the interim government, Bulgaria will provide its first military assistance to Ukraine.
After the opposition of the Russia-friendly Socialist party in the last government’s May proposal, it was one of few EU countries that did not send assistance.
Although the list is confidential, officials from government have stated that Sofia will primarily send ammunition and light weapons.
Dimitar Stoyanov, interim defence minister, stated that Bulgaria, a NATO-member, couldn’t afford to send its Russian anti-aircraft missile system or MIG-19 fighter jets. Kyiv is interested in these systems.
My approach was conservative because I have to protect the defense capabilities of Bulgaria. “The aid is in full alignment with Ukraine’s priorities but we aren’t sending S-300 or MIG-29 systems to Ukraine,” Stoyanov said on Friday to Nova TV.
Although Bulgaria is not sending weapons to Ukraine, the report of the Bulgarian Industrial Association in November showed that its arms producers have experienced a rise in their exports.
The August approval by the Economy Ministry of arms export agreements worth over 1 billion Levs (or $554.22 Million) was made. Most of these were headed for Poland, one of the main hubs that send weapons to Ukraine.
On Friday, 148 of the 240-seat lawmakers voted in favor to send aid. The Socialists and pro-Russian Revival voted against.