Bulgaria's Defense Committee Greenlights Transfer of Anti-Aircraft Missiles to Ukraine

Politics » DEFENSE | December 7, 2023, Thursday // 17:23
Bulgaria: Bulgaria's Defense Committee Greenlights Transfer of Anti-Aircraft Missiles to Ukraine

Bulgaria to provide old anti-aircraft missile complexes and anti-aircraft missiles of different types to Ukraine, to be used to strengthen its counter-air defense. This was voted for by the Defense Committee at an extraordinary meeting. With 11 votes "in favor", 4 "against" and one "abstention", the draft decision was adopted by the committee.

The draft decision was submitted today (07.12.2023) by Boyko Borissov, Delyan Peevski, Kiril Petkov, Atanas Atanasov and a group of people's representatives.

With it, it is proposed that Bulgaria donates to Ukraine "defective, out-of-order or above-standard portable anti-aircraft missile systems and anti-aircraft missiles of different types". The Minister of Defense will determine the excess quantities in the course of the ongoing Strategic Review of Defense Policy. The list is expected to be ready in January or February.

And now there is a list of the malfunctioning equipment in the Logistics Directorate of the Ministry of Defense, but it is necessary to assess how much of it can be given.

The missiles in question are probably (but unconfirmed) Soviet S-300 of the 5В55Р(К) variant.

If the document is adopted, the Council of Ministers will be obliged to negotiate with the governments of NATO countries for the deployment of air defense and coastal anti-ship missile complexes to "strengthen the defense capabilities of Bulgaria".

The importers offer to train up to four Ukrainian infantry or mechanized companies per year with a total of 160 soldiers. They will come as military personnel without personal weapons and combat equipment.

In addition, it is envisaged that the Ministry of Defense will take the necessary actions to join and contribute, according to Bulgaria's capabilities, to the coalition of countries to build the capabilities of the Air Force of Ukraine to use F-16 aircraft, including for joint training and use of the country's airspace.

The debates on the topic were high-pitched and with sharp criticism. Nikolay Drenchev from the pro-Russian party "Vazrazhdane" threatened a military court, and Borislav Gutsanov from the Bulgarian Socialist Party said that "a reckoning day will come". He personally addressed the Deputy Minister of Defense Atanas Zapryanov.

"In the autumn of your life, to make such decisions. Aren't you ashamed," asked Gutsanov in a high tone.

Atanas Zapryanov replied that he has many years of experience in the army and is not ashamed of the decisions made.

"I am not ashamed at all. Everything that we have provided to Ukraine so far is defective. If we do not provide them, we must destroy them and pay money. I have no political pressure, I work as a specialist. No one commanded us. We have been looking for a solution to these faulty missiles for a long time," said the Deputy Defense Minister.

Alexander Valchev from the populist party "There Is Such a People" stated that they have doubts regarding the decision. As the reason for this, he pointed out that the decision was brought very quickly today and it affects national security and they will take a stand after due verification.

"For now, we will refrain," Valchev said.

Regarding the trainings, Hristo Gadjev explained that such trainings are organized in many countries, including Romania and Poland, and Deputy Minister Zapryanov pointed out that the company comes as military personnel without personal weapons and without equipment.

"We are training them. It is not a question of a fully armed mechanized company," Zapryanov added.

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Tags: Ukraine, missiles, Bulgaria, defense

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