Upward curve for Bulgaria’s exports of military products

In three months, Bulgaria has exported military products to a value of more than half a billion euro, close to the average of more than 600 million euro a year in recent years, according to figures presented to Parliament on March 8.

But it is a lie to say that Bulgaria has been exporting weapons or dual-use goods or technology to Ukraine, Economy Minister Kornelia Ninova told Parliament.

Ninova reiterated that there was an interdepartmental commission that reviews applications for military exports and issues either permission or refusal, which is then signed by the Economy Minister.

She said that she had suggested to the commission that instead of waiting for the end of the year to provide the information, reports would be provided to Parliament every quarter.

The list presented by Ninova, with no details of what goods were sold, is:

In North Africa – Algeria and Morocco: 2 003 619 euro.

In sub-Saharan Africa – Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan: 43 649 469 euro.

In North America – Canada and the United States: 71 115 320 euro.

In Central America and the Caribbean: 22 400 euro.

In Central Asia – Uzbekistan: 339 000 euro.

In Northeast Asia – Mongolia and Taiwan: 53 200 euro.

In Southeast Asia – Indonesia and Malaysia: 446 118 euro.

In South Asia – Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Maldives: 5 233 961 euro.

To other European Union countries – Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Spain: 45 819 649 euro.

To other European countries – Azerbaijan, Georgia, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey: 18 766 343 euro

In the Middle East – Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Oman, Saudi Arabia: 317 140 771 euro.

“Did anyone hear Ukraine?” Ninova said, urging everyone to stop spreading this lie because it was dangerous.

The claim that Bulgaria was exporting weapons to one of the parties to the conflict meant direct intervention in the war, and the perception of that was a threat to the national security of Bulgaria, she said.

Ninova said that it was possible that a country had redirected goods and technologies to Ukraine, but this was not the responsibility of the Bulgarian government and it could not track such secondary movement of goods sold.

The Bulgarian government had received no applications for permission for the re-sale of goods, she said.

(Screenshot from the Bulgarian Arsenal plant’s catalogue of weapons it produces and sells)

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