Bulgaria, Poland to Agree on Maintenance of MiG-29 Jets by End of JulyDefense | July 7, 2015, Tuesday // 08:29| views
Bulgarian Defence Minister Nikolay Nenchev. Photo: BGNES
Defence Minister Nikolay Nenchev said that Bulgaria is working on finalising the contract with Poland on the maintenance of the MiG-29 fighter jets.
The contract is expected to be signed by the end of the month, Nenchev said in an interview for Reuters.
Until now, the maintenance of the Soviet jets was carried out by Russia, but in a move to decrease its dependence on Moscow, Bulgaria has been negotiating a deal with Poland.
Nenchev expressed deep concern that Bulgaria was the only NATO member country, which was almost 90 % dependent on Russia.
The maintenance contract between Bulgaria and Russia expires in September.
Bulgaria has to repair six engines and Poland was chosen as it offered a cheaper price than Russia.
Nenchev added that there were plans for Bulgaria to host more than 70 joint military drills with its NATO allies in 2015 in response to the Russian aggression in Ukraine.
According to him, up to 2500 US army personnel could be located in Bulgaria during the drills.
The Defence Minister also expects for the 2006 Bulgarian-US agreement on the shared use of several military facilities in Bulgaria to be renewed at the latest early next year.
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