After Visiting a Bulgarian Arms Factory, EU Commissioner explained how the Country can Help Ukraine with Ammunition

Politics » DEFENSE | March 16, 2023, Thursday // 10:17
Bulgaria: After Visiting a Bulgarian Arms Factory, EU Commissioner explained how the Country can Help Ukraine with Ammunition EU Commissioner Thierry Breton (left) and Bulgarian Defense Minister Dimitar Stoyanov (right)

Circular trade - this is the scheme through which Bulgaria can help to arm Ukraine with ammunition.

Bulgarian companies "have the capacity to increase supplies to their current customers who are members of the EU. Countries that have stocks will be able to give them to Ukraine, and manufacturers will be able to increase their production to replenish those stocks. For me it was very important to have this guarantee," said the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, to "Politico" on the occasion of his visit yesterday to Sofia and to the arms factories in the Sopot region.

According to the Brussels edition, he was scouting for factories in Bulgaria to be involved in a large-scale increase in the production of ammunition for delivery to Ukraine. Speaking to Politico while in Bulgaria, he said "it's time to move from plans to action, to identify factories that can quickly ramp up production, what their needs and capacities are, and to anticipate potential trouble spots in the supply chain."

"Last week (the EU's foreign affairs chief) Josep Borrell and I proposed this plan to increase production and now I'm here," added Breton. After visiting three "classified production sites" - one of which is the state-owned VMZ, he commented that "Bulgaria has a good capacity to significantly increase production within a time frame that may be compatible with what we are looking for."

Asked about the potential risk of relying on a country with a notoriously Russia-friendly elite, Breton insists he remains encouraged by the positive signals from the caretaker government in Sofia and is not worried about the country's reliability when it comes to replenishing ammunition stocks of the EU countries.

"I don't see any particular political risks," insists Breton, and when asked about president Radev's pro-Russian position, Politico points out. "The defense minister, who is very close to the current president, invited me to this visit today."

Bulgaria has been in an impasse since Prime Minister Kiril Petkov's pro-Western government was forced to resign last June, with new elections due in a few weeks, the publication explains.

European Commissioner Thierry Breton will also travel to Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, France and Romania as part of a "defense tour" of countries that have the potential to increase munitions production.

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Tags: ammunition, Ukraine, Bulgaria, breton
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