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Bulgaria’s military-industrial complex working almost 24/7 for Ukraine, Defense Minister says

Bulgaria’s defense industry aims to produce ammunition for Ukraine based on Soviet standards and expand capabilities for NATO-standard ammunition, with EU support, per Bulgaria’s Defense Minister.
Bulgarian Defense Minister Todor Tagarev. Photo: Voice of America
Bulgaria’s military-industrial complex working almost 24/7 for Ukraine, Defense Minister says

In an interview with the Voice of America, Bulgarian Defense Minister Todor Tagarev gave details of Bulgarian military aid to Ukraine, including old Soviet-era systems and ammunition, which are, however, in good working condition and which the Ukrainian military already knows how to use without the need for additional training.

“The most important thing is the production of ammunition, small arms, and light weapons in Bulgaria. This is the area of production in which Bulgaria specialized back in Soviet times, and this specialization is still there. So, the defense industry operates almost 24/7, and the bulk of this production goes to Ukraine, either directly or through third parties,” Tagarev said.

According to VoA, Bulgaria’s assistance played a key role in the first months of the all-out war, when Bulgarian weapons began to arrive in Ukraine, accounting for 30% of all military aid.

Tagarev suggested that at the beginning of the all-out war, the Bulgarian deliveries might have included small arms, light weaponry, RPGs, self-propelled artillery units, 122mm and 152mm caliber shells, and landmines.

He also revealed that Bulgaria’s defense industry plans to start the production of ammunition according to Soviet-era standards. Furthermore, they intend to establish additional manufacturing capabilities for NATO-standard ammunition, specifically 155mm and 105mm calibers. To facilitate this, the minister mentioned that several Bulgarian companies have submitted applications for investment under the European Commission’s ASAP program. This initiative sees the EU allocating a total of 500 million euros to support investment projects, amounting to up to 1.4 billion euros in total. These projects aim to stimulate the growth of ammunition and missile production within the European Union.

Tagarev said he believes Ukraine will win its war with Russia, provided it receives continued military, political, and financial support from its allies. According to him, the greatest role in achieving this goal could be played by providing Ukraine with combat aircraft to reduce Russia’s air superiority and, when Ukraine is ready to launch an offensive, to protect ground forces.

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