site.btaUPDATED Parliament Resolves on Providing Anti-Aircraft Missile Systems, SAMs to Ukraine

Parliament Resolves on Providing Anti-Aircraft Missile Systems, SAMs to Ukraine
Parliament Resolves on Providing Anti-Aircraft Missile Systems, SAMs to Ukraine
Bulgaria's Parliament sitting, December 9, 2023 (BTA Photo)

Bulgaria's National Assembly on Friday voted, 147-55, to pass a draft  resolution on the provision by Bulgaria to Ukraine of portable anti-aircraft missile systems and surface-to-air missiles of various types which are either defective, no longer needed, or above establishment. The armament in question is in the possession of the Bulgarian Armed Forces and are to be used to strengthen Ukraine's air defence.

The votes in favour came from GERB-UDF (61), Continue the Change - Democratic Bulgaria (CC-DB) (53) and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) (33). Those against were the MPs of Vazrazhdane (35), BSP for Bulgaria (61), and one MP of There Is Such a People. 

The draft resolution was moved on Thursday by GERB-UDF, CC-DB and MRF.

According to the resolution, in the course of the ongoing Strategic Defence Policy Review, the Minister of Defence is to identify the surplus quantities of armaments and materiel from those necessary for keeping the wartime units properly equipped and is to draw up a proposal for the provision of these armaments and materiel to Ukraine.

The Council of Ministers is to take action for the implementation of the resolution and is to hold negotiations with the governments of the NATO Allies on the deployment of Allied surface-to-air and coastal anti-ship missile systems in order to strengthen Bulgaria's defence capabilities. 

The Government is to seek recovery of the costs of the armament and ammunition provided to Ukraine through the European Peace Facility and funds of NATO member countries, Parliament also resolved.

The Defence Ministry is to take the action necessary for joining and contributing, within the country's capabilities, of the coalition of countries for building F-16 use capabilities of the Ukrainian Air Force, including the conduct of joint training and use of Bulgaria's airspace, the motion states.

The National Assembly authorized the passing through and stay in Bulgarian territory, for the purpose of training, of up to four rotating infantry/mechanized companies of the Armed Forces of Ukraine of numerical strength not exceeding 160 annually for the period of the training.

The Minister of Defence is to hold negotiations and conclude an agreement on organizing the training, the resolution states.

The Debate

Borislav Gutsanov (BSP for Bulgaria): This already is the last phase before entering a war. (Addressing the movers:) You are doing precisely the opposite of what Bulgarian citizens want. What actually will be provided cannot be seen even in the Classified Information Registry.

Nikolay Drenchev (Vazrazhdane): What is offered to us is sheer absurdity: nobody, not even the Minister of Defence, knows what the numerical strength of the Bulgarian Armed Forces should be considering the new challenges.

Ivaylo Mirchev (CC-DB): You must not scare people that we are entering a war, these are lies.

Defence Minister Todor Tagarev: The allegations that Bulgaria will be directly embroiled in war with Russia are false. The assistance for Ukraine is fully compliant with international law, including the UN Charter. This is in the interest of Bulgaria and of the whole world. The Defence Ministry backs the resolution on the provision of additional military assistance. According to this resolution, we are to provide the surpluses of the Bulgarian Armed Forces. The plans include English language training, including in specialized English for flight crews. Because we are too late providing assistance, so far we have received only just EUR 330,000 in compensations out of the initially provided package of non-lethal assistance [from the European Peace Facility and funds of NATO member countries]. We have filed an application for the rest of the assistance but will receive the funds much later.

/LG/

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By 05:24 on 23.06.2024 Today`s news

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