MiG Repair Deal with Poland Closed, Bulgaria DefMin Says
Bulgarian Defense Minister Nikolay Nenchev on Tuesday entered into details about the price tag of aircraft engine repair if it is carried out by state-owned facilities in Poland.
The deal with Poland is already finalized, he also said.
Nenchev told reporters after a hearing by Parliament's Defense Committee that it will take BGN 1.023 M to overhaul a single MiG-29 engine, which in his words means Sofia will pay 29% less for the six fighter jets which Poland agreed to repair than if their original manufacturer, Russian RSK MiG, continued to maintain the aircraft.
RSK MiG says Poland does not have the documentation and license needed to repair MiG aircraft. Warsaw disputes this and insists it has developed its own documentation.
He cited fees and taxes that two EU member states, like Bulgaria and Poland, do not have to pay for bilateral transactions, which is not the case if a deal is pursued with a Russian company.
The minister also explained his resignation was not on the agenda of Tuesday's hearing, despite earlier calls by opposition MPs that he step down.
Nenchev added he had seen "support" by the socialist opposition which, in his words, was aware of the project's importance to the Bulgarian Air Forces.
BSP lawmaker Angel Naydenov, however, is quoted by the website Dnevnik.bg as saying his party would still insist that Nenchev should resign.
Last week the BSP demanded that Nenchev quit over plans announced by his ministry to allow military aircraft of other NATO member states to conduct policing of the country's air space joinly with the Bulgarian Air Force.
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