Bulgaria’s Defence Ministry is already in the process of technical talks on repairing Ukrainian armoured vehicles in Bulgaria, Deputy Defence Minister Yordan Bozhilov told public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television (BNT) on June 3.
On June 2, Prime Minister Kiril Petkov told the Globsec forum in Bratislava that 80 Ukrainian tanks were to be repaired in Bulgaria.
Bozhilov said that attempts were being made in Bulgaria to give the impression that the country had done nothing to shelter the refugees from Ukraine, which was not true, and which was part of the hybrid war.
“Yesterday I visited the buffer centre in Sarafovo. The first impression – children’s laughter – children aged four to five running around the yard and playing. Next to them are the mothers – there are no smiles,” Bozhilov said.
“A queue of elderly people lining up to get their food – they are grateful that Bulgaria has received them and provided them with everything. On the other side are the Bulgarians who help there and stay at the base around the clock because they are aware of the gravity of the situation,” he said.
Bozhilov told BNT that all the funds that the state spends on sheltering refugees in Bulgaria come from European Union funds.
He said that after the wave of refugees in 2014-2015, no one had compiled an action plan for an influx of refugees, taking into account the experience.
Bozhilov said that with the forthcoming amendments to the Budget, the Defence Ministry would request financial support for military modernisation projects and additional incentives for quality people to remain in the army, and to attract young people to become officers.
At the moment there are nearly 6000 vacancies in the Bulgarian armed forces, he said.
(Photo: Basedosaurus, via Wikimedia Commons)
For The Sofia Globe’s continuing coverage of Russia’s war on Ukraine, please click here.
Please support The Sofia Globe by clicking on the orange button below to sign up to become a patron on patreon.com.
For as little as three euro a month or the equivalent in other currencies, becoming a patron means supporting independent journalism, and getting access to exclusive content: