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Bulgarian Defense Minister states majority of military-industrial production goes to Ukraine

Bulgarian Defense Minister states majority of military-industrial production goes to Ukraine Todor Tagarev, Minister of Defense of Bulgaria (photo: Getty Images)

Bulgaria's military-industrial complex is actively engaged in providing defense assistance to Ukraine. The country's defense sector also plans to launch additional production capacities for manufacturing NATO-caliber ammunition, announces Bulgaria's Minister of Defense, Todor Tagarev.

The head of Bulgaria's defense ministry noted that Sofia's military assistance to Ukraine includes, among other things, outdated systems from the Soviet era and ammunition that, despite their age, remain in good working condition.

"However, the most crucial aspect is the production of ammunition, small arms, and light weapons in Bulgaria. This is an area of manufacturing in which Bulgaria has specialized since Soviet times, and this specialization persists," he said.

According to Tagarev, the country's defense industry operates virtually around the clock, and a significant portion of this production goes to Ukraine, either directly or through third parties.

He also mentioned that the Bulgarian military-industrial complex plans to continue the production of ammunition based on Soviet standards, with plans to launch additional production capacities for NATO-standard ammunition (155 and 105 millimeters).

To facilitate this, several Bulgarian companies have submitted investment applications under the European Commission's ASAP program. Under this program, the European Union allocates a total of 500 million euros to support investment projects amounting to up to 1.4 billion euros to stimulate the growth of ammunition and missile production in the EU, added Tagarev.

"These new investments are already directed almost exclusively towards the production of 155mm ammunition, which is a priority, but also towards other types in demand," stated the Bulgarian minister.

In addition, by the decision of the parliament, Bulgaria has provided Ukraine with over 800 armored personnel carriers and is conducting several training programs, Tagarev revealed.

"Bulgaria has also expressed our willingness to join the F-16 coalition, providing language training for pilots, engineering and technical personnel, and air traffic controllers, training for engineering and technical personnel, basic training for maintenance personnel, and F-16 training, except for training on a specific platform that we do not have and which Ukraine is expecting," he added.

The head of the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense emphasized his belief in Ukraine's victory in the war against Russia, provided there is consistent military, political, and financial support from allies and partner countries. In this context, he also expressed the opinion that providing combat aircraft to the Ukrainian side could play a significant role in reducing the invaders' air superiority for the protection of ground forces in future Ukrainian offensives.

Assistance to Ukraine from Bulgaria

Bulgaria has been providing various forms of assistance to Ukraine since the early days of the full-scale Russian invasion. Recently, behind closed doors, the Bulgarian parliament voted to supply Ukraine with non-operational S-300 missiles.

Furthermore, Bulgaria will allocate around 150,000 euros in humanitarian aid to Ukraine due to the challenging situation caused by the full-scale Russian invasion.

The Bulgarian parliament recently ratified an agreement for the supply of armored personnel carriers to Ukraine.

It was also reported that on January 11, the Minister of Defense of Turkiye, Yasar Guler, his Romanian counterpart, Angel Tilvar, and the Deputy Minister of Defense of Bulgaria, Atanas Zapryanov, signed a memorandum of understanding in Istanbul to form a trilateral initiative for the disposal of explosive materials.