Bulgarian defense minister Dragomir Zakov has announced that the country will upgrade its underfunded military by acquiring more weapons and state-of-the-art equipment.
The announcement was made as the defense minister explained that Bulgaria would not be sending military supplies to Ukraine amid continuing Russian aggression.
Zakov said that his country currently has poor military capabilities, hindering it from supplying arms and ammunition to embattled Kyiv.
Instead, Bulgaria will begin modernizing its armed forces by establishing artillery support capabilities, purchasing 3D radars, and constructing high-powered air defense systems.
The Eastern European nation also vowed to develop drones, multi-purpose hybrid submarines, ammunition for naval vessels, coastal missile systems, and field communication equipment.
“We can’t give Ukraine something we don’t have,” the defense minister said, as quoted by Balkan Insight.
‘In Dire Need’
Although six former defense ministers of Bulgaria are urging the government to send weapons to Ukraine, Zakov said that the country’s military is “in dire need” of revitalization before “any such steps can be made.”
He stressed that Bulgaria needs a capable and combat-ready army to defend the nation against current and future threats.
“We need to restore key military capabilities, but this means that serious spending must be done,” the minister said.
Bulgaria is currently expecting to receive F-35 fighter jets from the Netherlands.
It will also acquire state-of-the-art Identification Friend-or-Foe technology from German firm Hensoldt as part of the country’s military modernization program.