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Bulgaria to grant access to its skies for Ukraine’s F-16 training

Bulgaria is going to grant Ukraine airspace access for F-16 training, overcoming opposition. Plans include anti-aircraft systems deployment and infantry cooperation.
A Danish Air Force F-16BM combat trainer aircraft during a training flight. Photo via mil.in.ua
Bulgaria to grant access to its skies for Ukraine’s F-16 training

The ruling majority in the Bulgarian parliament has agreed to provide Ukraine with Bulgarian airspace for F-16 aircraft training, according to a draft decision proposed by the leaders of the three formations supporting the government, Euroactiv reports.

One of the eight points in the draft decision, put forth by the leaders of the government’s supporting coalition — PP-DB, GERB, and DPS — includes the following statement:

“The government should make sure that Bulgaria joins and contributes according to its capabilities to the coalition of countries to build the capabilities of the Air Force of Ukraine to use F-16 aircraft, including to conduct joint exercises and to use the country’s airspace.”

Euroactiv notes that the endorsement by the ruling coalition ensures smooth passage of the draft decision, even in the face of anticipated opposition from the pro-Russian Bulgarian Socialist Party and Vazrazhdane. These parties recently called for a vote of no confidence in Nikolai Denkov’s government.

The draft decision includes plans for negotiating with NATO allies to deploy allied anti-aircraft and coastal anti-ship missile systems, supplying Ukraine with surplus anti-aircraft equipment, and requesting compensation for expenses from the European Instrument for Peace and other financial sources.

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