Bulgaria greenlights first military aid package to Ukraine
Bulgaria to provide military aid to Kyiv for the first time since the beginning of the Russian war against Ukraine (Photo:Mikhail | luxkstn/Unsplash)
The Bulgarian parliament has approved the provision of military assistance to Ukraine – for the first time since the beginning of the Russian invasion – Bulgarian news outlet dnevnik.bg reported on Dec. 9.
The vote was supported by 148 Bulgarian MPs, with 46 nays and one abstention.
While the full description of the aid package is classified, Bulgarian Economy Minister Nikola Stoyanov said it includes small arms and ammunition.
At the same time, Bulgaria refused to give Kyiv fighter jets and S-300 anti-aircraft systems, which Ukraine needs the most.
Furthermore, the document also allows for the Bulgarian Armed Forces to participate in the EU program to train Ukrainian troops.
Acting Minister of Defense of Bulgaria Dimitar Stoyanov explained Sofia's refusal to transfer aircraft to Ukraine: Bulgaria cannot afford to send its Soviet-era air defense systems or MiG-19 and Su-25 fighters – for its own national security reasons, Reuters reports.
"My approach is conservative because I need to ensure Bulgaria's defense capability," said Stoyanov.
“The assistance is fully in line with Ukraine's priorities, but we are not sending either S-300 systems or MiG-29 or Su-25 aircraft.”
On Nov. 3, the parliament instructed the Bulgarian government to develop a plan of providing security assistance to Ukraine, breaking with the initial neutrality policy.
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