Bulgaria’s parliament greenlights S-300 missile transfer to Ukraine

Ukrainian S-300 surface-to-air missile system firing. Credit: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Bulgaria’s parliament has greenlit the transfer of aging S-300 surface-to-air missiles and additional military aid to Ukraine to protect its cities from Russian attacks. 

The S-300, a Soviet-era air defense missile system, has the capability to track and neutralize aircraft, cruise missiles, and even ballistic missiles in some configurations. 

The missiles Bulgaria plans to send are over 30 years old and inoperable as Bulgaria lacks the resources to repair them. However, Ukraine is thought to have the facilities and expertise to either repair or use these missiles as spare parts. 

After refusing for months to provide any military aid to Ukraine, a substantial majority of the country’s lawmakers voted in favor of aiding Ukraine. However, the closed-door parliamentary session in which missile transfer was approved was marked by heated debates and political divisions, according to Bulgarian media.  

Bulgarian pro-Kremlin factions condemned the move as “treason,” while others saw it as a necessary step to support a neighboring country under siege. Bulgarian lawmakers voted 141-40, with three abstentions, in favor of supplying Ukraine with defective missiles. 

After Bulgaria’s decision was announced, Russia’s leading news agency TASS released a statement from Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation. The statement urged Bulgaria to “review the decision to prevent violations of international law in the field of military-technical cooperation.” 

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