Bulgaria to start sending military aid to Ukraine
Bulgaria will start sending military and technical assistance to the country after the parliament’s defence and foreign policy committees approved two proposals submitted by pro-European parties GERB and Democratic Bulgaria.
Though Bulgaria and Hungary do not directly send Ukraine weapons, military factories in Bulgaria are making huge profits from the sale of weapons used by the Ukrainian army in the war against Russia.
Now that the draft bill has passed the committees, it is expected to have enough support in the plenary hall, notably from GERB, We Continue to Change, Democratic Bulgaria and DPS.
Opposition to the bill exists from pro-Russian parties BSP and Vazrazhdane. President Rumen Radev, who currently rules the executive branch, has repeatedly spoken out against such a decision and even called its initiators “warmongers “, whose goal is to involve Bulgaria in the conflict.
“Sending weapons to Ukraine definitely makes us, albeit indirectly, part of the conflict,” said Bulgarian Socialist Party MP and former foreign minister Kristian Vigenin. Vazrazhdane requested an analysis from the Defence Ministry.
This was echoed by Acting Defence Minister Dimitar Stoyanov, who said such a decision requires detailed analysis. He said that Bulgaria cannot lose its S-300 anti-aircraft missile complexes, adding that they are the backbone of the country’s air defence.
“The maintenance of the old Soviet weaponry became practically impossible after the Russian military aggression against Ukraine, and its replacement is on the agenda,” said Atanas Slavov from Democratic Bulgaria.
Daniel Mitov from GERB once again pointed out that the decision was late and should be quickly considered, explaining that the list of countries helping Ukraine is a list of civilised countries.
“I want Bulgaria to be part of this list,” said Mitov, the former foreign minister in the second GERB government.
Among the parties that back sending Ukraine military aid, former prime minister Kiril Petkov’s We Continue to Change is now in favour of sending weapons to Ukraine even though it defended the opposite when Petkov’s cabinet was in power.