Bulgaria approved to send Defective S-300 Missiles to Ukraine
Bulgaria Considers Donating Malfunctioning Antiaircraft Missiles to Ukraine Amid Dispute
Draft Decision on Extended Military Aid Sparks Contention
With a majority consensus, the Defense Committee of the National Assembly has adopted a draft legislation that suggests donating malfunctioning anti-aircraft guided missiles and spare small arms ammo to Ukraine, both of which are no longer required by Bulgaria.
The initiators of the project include members from GERB-SDS, WCC-DB, and DPS, with significant figures among the signatories.
Proposal Defended by Defense Minister
The Defense Minister defended the proposal, clarifying that the donation would not involve missiles of any kind. He reiterated that there is assurance they have no potential for repair, which, if offered to Ukraine, would not concede any anti-aircraft missile systems.
The Defense Minister further allayed concerns stating that providing defective missiles to another country will in no way harm the Bulgarian Army’s combat capability or readiness. This decision would not affect them in any way as they have been previously attempted to repair without success.
Opposition Response to Proposal
The opposition reacted intensely to the proposal, viewing this provision as a step towards the full deprivation of the country’s anti-aircraft missile systems. The Bulgarian Socialist Party asked for the Defense Minister’s resignation, arguing that the move threatens Bulgaria’s anti-aircraft missile systems and suggesting that the Minister faces a conflict of interest regarding the proposed aid for Ukraine.
Others suggested that efforts should be made to repair and utilize the weapon systems internally. Despite the solidarity shown for Ukraine, it was also indicated that while the provision of ammunition is acceptable, the provision of anti-aircraft missiles is a serious concern.
Defense Minister Expectations
In light of the dispute, the Defense Minister disclosed that he expects parliamentarians to approve additional expenditures for the modernization of Ground Forces. He asked that this be done before local elections take place, citing the need for the acquisition of combat equipment to outfit several battalion combat groups of a mechanized brigade.
Details of the Investment Expenditure Project
As per the Investment Expenditure Project, decreed by the Council of Ministers, the commencement of combat vehicle deliveries would be backdated to the third quarter of 2025 and end by the first quarter of 2028. The estimated cost for new machines is around 2.5 billion leva.
The proposal entails a payment plan split over a five-year duration, involving the assembly, maintenance, and repair of machines within the country.
Chief of Defense on Antiaircraft Missiles and Air Defense
It was reported that the Bulgarian Army possesses multiple defective missiles from the S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems. Despite the lack of exact numbers, it was suggested that it is safer not to store such items as they can pose a danger to the military personnel in storage.
In addition, the Chief of Defense assured that the Bulgarian Army has no issues with providing the country’s air defense, stating that the functioning elements of the Bulgarian military are in working order and capable of fulfilling their constitutional requirements.
Amid the heated discussions on offering aid to Ukraine, final stage training of the multinational battle group in Bulgaria was observed attentively by the NATO joint command in Naples and Bulgarian officials.
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