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Bulgaria will likely sell "hundreds of thousands" of ammunition rounds to Ukraine through intermediaries, the country's former defense minister Boyko Noev told Bulgarian TV channel, cited by Euroactiv.
Bulgarian Defense Ministry has reported it would transfer old ammunition worth almost 175 million euros ($189 million) to the state military plant VMZ to receive new munitions in return. According to Noev, who is well aware of the country's arms industry, the old ammunition will likely end up in Ukraine.
"This is the largest rearmament of the Bulgarian land forces in recent history…This amount of ammunition can turn the tide of the war in some directions on the Ukrainian front," said Noev, as quoted by Euroactiv.
Bulgaria has stockpiles of Soviet-standard ammunition, which the Ukrainian army needs to fuel its broad range of Soviet-era weapons in the face of an increasing ammunition deficit.
According to Euroactiv, Dimitar Stoyanov said on March 27 that the scheme with VMZ had been approved only "for the purpose of renewing wartime stocks" for the army, which is part of the parliament's decision to "provide support for Ukraine."
Stoyanov, however, refused to say what his ministry would do with the ammunition.
Bulgaria's President Rumen Radev, who rules the country as a presidential republic in the absence of a regularly elected government and parliament, publicly spoke out against the supply of arms to Ukraine.
If Bulgaria transfers the ammunition from the army to the military plant and then delivers through intermediaries to Ukraine, Radev can go on with telling his supporters that Sofia is not helping Ukraine, Euroactiv wrote.
Bulgaria is one of the few EU countries that has not confirmed its participation in the EU plan to purchase one million rounds of ammunition for Ukraine.