Bulgaria: The Defense Committee approved the provision of Armored Personnel Carriers to Ukraine
With 10 votes "for" and 5 "against", the Defense Committee decided to provide Ukraine with 100 armored personnel carriers from the reserves of the Ministry of Internal Affairs which are no longer needed.
Defense Minister Todor Tagarev explained that in this case a military expertise will be required.
On the commission's agenda were the item on the APCs and the proposal of the left that any further aid to Ukraine should pass through the sanction of the parliament.
Todor Tagarev refused to comment on the details of the threats directed at him. He pointed out that there are investigative bodies for this. He only specified that the quotes announced earlier today by "Vazrazhdane" were not the threats he had received.
Nikolay Drenchev from "Vazrazhdane" asked Tagarev about the maintenance of the MiG-29 fighters. The minister announced that he was requested a report.
"Yes, there are problems. A replacement fighter is not on the agenda. We can't afford it, we will rely on the MiG-29 until its resource runs out. We are decades late because of the tie-up. We missed working with Poland and Ukraine. We hope to conclude a contract to repair our engines. There is no other solution".
Jeyhan Ibryamov from DPS commented that there are 2 engine repair procedures that have been completed and asked which is the company that can do repairs.
The Minister admitted that there are 2 procedures.
"For the repair of the MiG-29 engines, TEREM is refusing, because it does not have the capacity in our country. There remains a second company, a Polish one, which must confirm its offer and move towards a contract. This is TEREM's decision according to a risk assessment. I cannot interfere in the operational activities of the company," said Todor Tagarev.
BSP asked about the policy of increasing incomes in connection with the increase of the minimum wage and why there is not a single cent for the army in Budget 2023, unlike the Ministry of the Interior. BSP stated that they will offer an additional 75 million leva. GERB also announced that they will offer 75 million leva for salaries.
Tagarev replied that there was a problem with the recruitment and retention of the military and would appreciate support between the first and second readings of the budget.
Ivaylo Mirchev from WCC-DB presented the proposal for the sending of armored personnel carriers to Ukraine. In order not to impair the combat capabilities of the army, it is proposed to send canned armored vehicles from the warehouses of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to Ukraine.
"They are no longer necessary and there is no need for them to be in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and hopefully they will not have to use them," he said.
He recalled that in December, the USA provided Bulgaria with 200 million dollars to replace old combat equipment with new ones, and the old ones were to be provided to Ukraine, but this was not done.
"The Ministry of Internal Affairs categorically supports this initiative. These APCs don't work for us, they even hinder us. They were used as early as 1956. It is important for us that this assistance be provided as soon as possible. We are not convinced that with a separate agreement with Ukraine, this will speed up the procedure," said the deputy Interior Minister Stoyan Temelakiev.
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