Bulgaria to Transfer Approximately 100 Units of Soviet-Era Armored Vehicles to Ukraine
Bulgaria is considering supplying Ukraine with around 100 units of armored vehicles of Soviet design. The transfer could commence from late September to early October.
The Bulgarian Minister of Defence, Todor Tagarev, announced this during a briefing with his Ukrainian counterpart, Oleksiy Reznikov, in Odesa.
Tagarev noted that the process is currently delayed as the equipment is still held in storage by the Bulgarian Ministry of Internal Affairs. According to Tagarev, the first step is to sign a contract between the Bulgarian Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence.
"Once it comes back to its meetings in September, I believe that this will be one of the priority tasks. By the end of September to early October, we will have the ratification of this agreement, and I think that the transfer can then begin," stated the Bulgarian Minister of Defence.
Tagarev emphasized that Bulgaria supports Ukraine's efforts to reclaim its territories temporarily occupied by Russia.
He also added that on a bilateral level, Bulgaria continues to provide military, political, and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. This encompasses enhancing the capabilities and training of Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel, supporting Ukraine's Eurointegration aspirations, and supplying humanitarian aid.
Furthermore, Reznikov mentioned that during their meeting, the ministers discussed the current situation, including in the Azov-Black Sea region. They also explored future cooperation possibilities, including potential reinforcement of Ukraine's air defense and missile defense systems, as well as demining efforts in the waters. Additionally, the discussion included the potential supply of additional weaponry, technical resources, ammunition, and more.
Currently, Bulgaria has directly provided Ukraine with only one package of military assistance, primarily consisting of helmets and body armor.
Bulgaria, a member of the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), holds a substantial inventory of Soviet weaponry and produces ammunition for it. However, it maintains close relations with Moscow and has diverged on providing direct military aid to Ukraine.
According to reports, the former Bulgarian government led by Kiril Petkov sold arms to Ukraine through intermediaries. Subsequent interim governments, appointed by President Rumen Radev, opposed direct weapon deliveries to Kyiv.
Todor Tagarev, the Minister of Defence of the new pro-European government appointed in June, has previously advocated for a change in this policy and the initiation of direct arms sales to Ukraine. According to reports, the country is preparing a new batch of military assistance for Ukraine, including weaponry and ammunition.