Bulgaria approves first military aid package to Ukraine: no jets or air defense

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

It has been one of the few EU and NATO members to not send any military aid to Ukraine since the Russian full-blown invasion. However, it has profited from sales of weaponry to Kyiv.

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

Caretaker defense minister Dimitar Stoyanov said Bulgaria, a NATO member, could not afford to send its Russian-made anti-aircraft S-300 missile systems or MIG-19 and SU-25 fighter jets, which Kyiv wants.

Speaking with the Bulgarian portal FrogNews in November, Ukraine’s ambassador to Bulgaria Vitaliy Moskalenko said that Ukraine requested 30 types of weapons, with the main emphasis being on air defense systems.

 The diplomat said: “From the beginning, we asked Bulgaria for various weapons. In the list provided by the Ministry of Defense, we noted more than 30 items, particularly the air defense systems that are most needed now.”

Moskalenko added that Ukraine had requested S-300 systems for sky protection and various anti-aircraft missile systems. The issue of deliveries of 152-mm howitzers, self-propelled guns, artillery shells, and mortars also “remains topical.”

According to the diplomat, the list turned out to be “quite wide and varied.” There are chances that Bulgaria will satisfy many points because the state possesses all types of weapons from the list.

Earlier, we sent an application for helicopters and Su-25 and MiG-29 aircraft. All the weapons that have been in Bulgaria since the Soviet era are absolutely necessary for us, necessary for Ukraine,” Moskalenko summed up.

On November 3, the National Assembly of Bulgaria supported a resolution to supply military and technical assistance to Ukraine. Bulgaria offered to hold medical training courses within the framework of the newly established EU training mission for the Ukrainian military. Protests against the decision took place in several Bulgarian cities.

Although Bulgaria and Hungary do not directly supply Ukraine with weapons, Bulgarian military factories have profited from the sale of weapons used by the Ukrainian army in the war against Russia. Experts estimate that Bulgaria supplied at least €1 billion of weapons and ammunition to Ukraine via brokers.

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