Bulgaria’s government authorised on November 6 a draft contract on the purchase of two minesweepers from the Netherlands, a statement after the Cabinet meeting said.
Approving the draft contract, the government authorised spending a sum of 1 996 000 euro, value-added tax excluded.
It said that the purchase would serve towards the safety of navigation in Bulgarian waters in peacetime and help the country fulfil its obligations in wartime, at national level and at Allied level as part of the European Union and Nato.
The Cabinet authorised the Minister of Defence to negotiate and sign the contract, which will be subject to ratification by the National Assembly.
The Netherlands navy is undergoing a series of changes. Of its Alkmaar-class minesweepers, it has sold some to Latvia and decommissioned others, while it currently has six.
Bulgaria’s military modernisation plans also include the acquisition of two naval patrol vessels, to replace three Soviet-made patrol vessels that have become impractical to operate because of a lack of spare parts and incompatibility with Nato standards.