Defence Ministry: No danger of Bulgaria running out of ammo by providing old shells to Ukraine

There is no danger that the Bulgarian army will run out of ammunition due to the provision of old shells to Ukraine and restocking from the Sopot arms plant, Deputy Defence Minister Atanas Zaprianov said on July 10.

This was the latest response from the Defence Ministry to repeated allegations by the country’s Presidency that supplying arms to Ukraine will leave Bulgaria’s military denuded of ammunition. The Presidency is openly and vocally opposed to the pro-Western government that took office on June 6.

Zaprianov said that the transfer of munitions and their replacement was a result of a contract between the ministry and the Sopot plant, and was a measure that made it possible to get rid of munitions long in storage and nearing the end of their serviceable life.

“And if we don’t unblock them and get rid of them now, we will have to destroy them in a few years, spend money on that and additionally spend other money on the purchase of new ones,” he said.

The transfer of ammunition was being carried out in accordance with the December 2022 decision by Parliament, as well as the recent decision by the new Cabinet to accelerate this process.

On the morning of July 10, President Roumen Radev, who repeatedly has voiced opposition to Bulgaria supplying arms to Ukraine – and saw his arguments demolished on July 6 by visiting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy – claimed that it would take “years” to fill Bulgaria’s stockpiles with new ammunition.

“There are high-speed processes going on in Parliament and the government, because in a day it was decided to empty the warehouses with wartime stocks of the Bulgarian army. It will take years to fill these stocks and those in power should be aware that this affects our national security,” Radev said.

Zaprianov said that such claims are not true.

“Unblocking is done according to a strict logic by logistics specialists and the schedule does not in any way allow us to unblock stocks so that we are completely freed from operational stocks,” he said.

“On the contrary, we will unlock the stock after we first receive the new stock to be produced. So it is not true that, you see, we will unblock everything from the warehouses, and then we will wait for them to be replenished,” Zaprianov said.

On July 8, the Defence Ministry said in a statement that it was alarmed by the Presidency manipulating public opinion with false claims about military aid to Ukraine, thus fuelling the disinformation campaign being waged against Bulgaria.

Earlier that day, Vice President Iliana Yotova alleged that the government was trying to hide something from the Bulgarian people about the supply of arms to Ukraine.

“The Ministry of Defence has the full support of the government for the military aid to Ukraine, which was determined by a decision of the National Assembly.

“The support will absolutely not endanger the combat capability of the Bulgarian army and the capabilities of our country to defend itself. Bulgaria will provide ammunition that is fit for use but is nearing the end of its service life. These supplies exceed the standard levels for wartime stocks and for ensuring the armed forces’ normal combat training,” the Defence Ministry said.

The ministry criticised Yotova for trying to damage the credibility of the government, instil fear and create disunity in the nation.

(Archive photo:

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