Members of Parliament from GERB-UDF, We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms have tabled a draft decision to give unserviceable S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine, for the Ukrainians to render them fit for use in air defence.
The draft decision, tabled on September 26 and signed by Boiko Borissov, Delyan Peevski, Hristo Ivanov and Kiril Petkov, also provides for Bulgaria to give Ukraine 5.56 calibre cartridges from Interior Ministry stores that are surplus to requirements.
Those supporting the draft decision said that the S-300 missile systems had been deemed to be unserviceable by the military and while it was not possible to repair the missiles in Bulgaria, Ukraine had the capacity to use them.
“Our country does not have the necessary capacity to independently repair these munitions. Their use by our army would create a serious risk to the lives of Bulgarian servicemen. Unlike Bulgaria, Ukraine has declared that it has the capacity to put such defective munitions into service and have them serve of the Ukrainian army,” the signatories said in an explanatory memorandum appended to the draft decision.
Supplying the missiles would improve the defence of Ukrainian cities against Russian air attacks, while the cartridges could be used by Ukrainian soldiers equipped with Nato small arms.
The assistance would neither diminish the defence capabilities of Bulgaria’s military, not reduce the capabilities of Bulgaria’s S-300s to protect Bulgarian skies, they said.
Bulgaria’s Defence Ministry held a procurement procedure from September 2020 to July 2022 for a company to repair and maintain the S-300 systems.
Only one candidate was admitted, Almaz-Antey Aerospace Defense Concern, which is owned by the Russian state. However, it turned out that it did not have the ability to keep the missile systems in working order.
The draft decision is subject to scrutiny by Parliament’s defence committee before being voted on by the full House. If approved, it will be up to the Defence Ministry to decide on the quantities of missiles and cartridges to be given to Ukraine.
(Photo: Tourbillon, via Wikimedia Commons)
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