Bulgaria to Join European 'Sky Shield' Initiative
On Wednesday, October 25, the Bulgarian government approved a memorandum project regarding its participation in the "Sky Shield" initiative, which involves joint procurement of anti-air and anti-missile defense systems. An agreement on this matter has been reached between the Bulgarian government and the defense ministries of 14 other European countries, as reported by News.bg.
This memorandum is a component of the European "Sky Shield" initiative aimed at enhancing the security of the European Union. The primary goal of this initiative is to create opportunities for joint procurement, servicing, and utilization of ground-based anti-air defense systems.
"This will improve Bulgaria's ability to integrate into NATO's anti-air and anti-missile defense system and participate in the unified anti-air and anti-missile defense system in Europe," states the Bulgarian government's announcement.
In the autumn of the previous year, Germany introduced the "Sky Shield" initiative for the first time, focusing on strengthening air defense in Europe and improving coordination in this domain. Currently, 19 European countries, including neutral countries such as Austria and Switzerland, have joined this initiative.
It's worth noting that Germany is preparing a "winter assistance package" for Ukraine, amounting to 1.4 billion euros, to establish a defense system against Russian attacks on infrastructure. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz made this announcement during the German-Ukrainian Economic Forum in Berlin. He emphasized that Germany is working on this winter package with the primary aim of creating a "protective shield" due to Russia's evident plans to continue attacking energy and other infrastructure and to use cold as a weapon against the civilian population. The package includes systems like Patriot anti-aircraft systems, Iris-T6, and Gepard, among others.
Olaf Scholz also urged German companies to employ Ukrainians since most refugees have a high level of education and are hardworking. He highlighted that Russian President Vladimir Putin was not only mistaken when he thought he could quickly conquer Ukraine but also when he believed that Ukraine's partners would tire of supporting it.
This enterprise will provide technical maintenance and repair services for equipment supplied to Ukraine by Western partners. There are plans for future joint production of specific types of defense products by Rheinmetall AG in Ukraine.