Regulator Rejects Ukrinmash's Appeal of MiG-29 Maintenance Tender
Sofia, January 2 (BTA) - The Commission for Protection of Competition (SPC) has rejected an appeal lodged by Ukrainian state-owned Ukrinmash to halt a procurement tender for the maintenance of the Bulgarian Air Force MiG-29 fighters. The decision was published on the last working day for 2017, the Bulgarian National Radio reported.
In effect, the regulator's decision allows the Defence Ministry to continue negotiations with Russia's RSK MiG, the only company invited. However, the regulator says that the Ukrainian company can appeal the decision before a three-judge panel of the Supreme Administrative Court within three days of notification.
The Defence Ministry has set aside some 82 million leva for the maintenance of MiG-29 fighters. However, while the regulator's decision was pending, the government redistributed 53.4 million leva for the maintenance of military airfields and the renovation of military schools.
Defence Minister Krassimir Karakachanov called the appeal 'a sabotage' and said that the issue may be resolved by the end of February. The Minister called for changes to the Public Procurement Act to prevent companies with no interest from appealing tenders which involve national security.
According to Ukrainian media reports, Ukrinmash is appealing the decision of the Bulgarian Defence Ministry to negotiate with RSK MiG only. According to the Ministry, however, as the Russian corporation holds the licences for the aircraft repairs, it is the only company which can implement the tender.