Bulgarian parliament approves military aid to Ukraine

Dec 8, 2022, 4:45 PM | Updated: Dec 9, 2022, 9:28 am
FILE - A Ukrainian supporter shouts slogans as she holds Ukrainian flags in front of Bulgarian Parl...

FILE - A Ukrainian supporter shouts slogans as she holds Ukrainian flags in front of Bulgarian Parliament in Sofia, Bulgaria, on May 04, 2022. Bulgarian lawmakers on Friday Dec. 9, 2022 approved the country’s first military assistance package to Ukraine involving a classified list of weapons prepared by the government. (AP Photo/Valentina Petrova)

(AP Photo/Valentina Petrova)

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgarian lawmakers on Friday approved the country’s first military assistance package to Ukraine involving a classified list of weapons prepared by the government.

The National Assembly voted 148-46 with one abstention in favor of the weapons to Kyiv following months of political squabbling on the issue in the Balkan NATO member state.

Bulgaria previously agreed to repair Ukrainian military equipment at its factories but refused to send weapons directly due to opposition from President Rumen Radev and the country’s Moscow-friendly political parties.

Along with Hungary, Bulgaria was the only European Union member country to initially refuse to give Ukraine weapons following Russia’s invasion.

While the full list of weapons remains classified, cabinet members told reporters ahead of the vote that the package included small arms and ammunition.

Defense Minister Dimitar Stoyanov said in a TV interview that the aid “is fully aligned with Ukraine’s priorities” but added that Bulgaria will neither provide S-300 missile systems nor MiG-29s fighter jets.

Lawmakers also ratified an agreement between the defense ministries of Bulgaria and Ukraine on the transfer of armaments, equipment, and ammunition. The agreement includes the training of up to 60 personnel from Ukraine’s armed forces as combat medics.

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Bulgarian parliament approves military aid to Ukraine