Bulgaria's DefMin Authorized to Sign MiG Repair Deal w/ Poland
The Bulgarian government has given Defense Minister Nikolay Nenchev a mandate to sign a deal under which the engines of six MiG fighter jets will be overhauled in Poland.
After the cabinet's move, Parliament is yet to ratify the agreement which sparked controversy in Bulgaria and also outrage from Russian manufacturer RSK MiG.
RSK MiG, which originally produced the Soviet-made aircraft used by the Bulgarian Air Force, was also the company in charge of their maintenance up until September of this year. Minister Nenchev cited financial grounds - and also the danger that Bulgaria's transactions with RSK MiG could fall under the scope of a new potential round of sanctions against Russia - as a reason to "outsource" the repair to a Polish state-owned facility.
The Russian manufacturer claims Poland has no license or documentation whatsoever to repair any MiG aircraft but the one it owns. Warsaw disputes this, saying it has prepared its own documentation over the years.
On Tuesday Nenchev explained it would cost EUR 1.023 M to overhaul a single engine, under the terms of the deal which he announced had already been closed.
Separately, the deal will allow the Bulgarian Air Force to use two Polish MiG engines over a period of two years.
The Defense Ministry on Wednesday added Sofia would receive the two engines twenty days after the contract enters into force.
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