Bulgaria can provide Ukraine with ammunition that can ‘turn the tide of war’, ex-Defense Minister

28 March, 02:44 PM
Ammunition for howitzers during a training exercise at a German military base in Munster, May 10, 2022 (Photo:REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File Photo)

Ammunition for howitzers during a training exercise at a German military base in Munster, May 10, 2022 (Photo:REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File Photo)

Bulgaria plans to sell to Ukraine such a huge amount of ammunition through the third countries that it may impact the course of the war, former Bulgarian Defense Minister Boyko Noev said in an interview with bTV on March 27.

Bulgaria will transfer old ammunition worth nearly EUR 175 million ($190 million) to state-owned military plant VMZ, who will forward them to Ukraine through intermediaries, Noev said.

Bulgaria will replace the shipment with newer ammunition.

“This is the largest rearmament of the Bulgarian land forces in recent history. That’s a huge amount of ammunition – hundreds of thousands. There is a huge increase in the price of ammunition, and VMZ will sell this ammunition through intermediaries to Ukraine. This is an amount of ammunition that can turn the tide of the war in some directions on the Ukrainian front,” Euroactiv quoted the former minister as saying.

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Bulgaria possesses old Soviet-era ammunition the Ukrainian Armed Forces need for their tanks, howitzers, anti-tank grenades, multiple rocket launchers, and AK-47 assault rifles.

Despite Sofia's official claims, Bulgaria has provided arms to Ukraine worth billions of dollars over the past two years, Euroactiv reported.

Bulgarian Defence Minister Dimitar Stoyanov said on March 27 that the VMZ plan is needed to renew Bulgaria’s military stocks.

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev said that Sofia sells weapons and ammunition to European countries on the condition of not transferring them to Ukraine.

His claims contradict the parliament’s Dec. 2022 decision to provide Kyiv with direct military aid. Radev dissolved the parliament in early Feb. 2023 and ordered the government to suspend supply until elections are held.

Bulgaria will have a snap election on April 2.

The VMZ plan should be able to work around the president’s commitment to not supply Ukraine, Euroactiv explained.

Bulgaria has already covertly supported Ukraine in one of the most crucial periods of the Russian full-scale invasion.

Bulgaria covered up to one third of the Ukrainian army's needs, as well as up to 40% of tanks, cars, and diesel fuel supply for the military from April to August 2022, German news site Welt reported.

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