Bulgaria to provide Ukraine with air defense systems and help with F-16 training

The Bulgarian National Assembly overwhelmingly supported the provision of additional military assistance to Ukraine, including participation in the coalition to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets.

147 Bulgarian MPs supported the decision, 55 were against it, and seven abstained.

The document stipulates that Bulgaria can transfer portable air defense systems and anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine that are “outdated, unsuitable, or surplus.”

Instead, the government should negotiate with NATO allies to deploy the Alliance’s anti-aircraft and anti-ship missile systems to strengthen Bulgaria’s defense capabilities and request reimbursement for military aid to Ukraine.

In addition, the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense should take steps to ensure that Bulgaria joins the coalition of countries to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16s. The role in which it plays is not specified.

Bulgaria’s pro-Russian opposition called the decision “shameful and dangerous” and accused the authorities of disarming the army and prolonging an “incomprehensible war.”

Bulgaria has previously offered to transfer missiles to Ukraine for the S-300 systems, which the country is unable to repair on its own but which, according to Sofia, Kyiv will be able to repair and use for defense.

In addition, the Bulgarian parliament overrode President Rumen Radev’s veto on Friday of an agreement to supply about 100 armored personnel carriers to Ukraine.

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