Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev suggested that Russia was intentionally provoking extraordinary flights of Bulgarian fighters.
“Who has interest in extraordinary flights of Bulgaria's fighter planes - maybe to exhaust their technical capabilities, maybe to require maintenance sooner, maybe to exhaust the resources of the Bulgarian army,” Plevneliev said on Tuesday regarding the increased number of flights of Bulgarian fighter planes.
Russia was intentionally provoking Bulgarian fighters
In the past several months the Bulgarian air force, consisting of Russian MiG 29 fighters, made more flights than in the previous 20 years altogether.
“If in previous years there were two-three flights per year, now there are two-three flights per week,” Plevneliev sad. “Now, every time the NATO airspace over the Black Sea is violated, take off two Bulgarian, two Romanian and two Turkish fighters, all because of one Russian plane. This is inefficient.”
According to Defence Minister Angel Naidenov the extraordinary flights were caused by Russian fighters and transport planes flying near the edge of NATO's airspace over the Black Sea. He, however, refused to comment whether they were connected to the tensions in Ukraine and repeated that Bulgaria's air space was not violated.
“I can only guess what is the goal of those Russian flights,” Naidenov said.
According to Naidenov, the technical maintenance and spare parts for the Bulgarian MiG 29 fighters is entirely in the hands of the Russian corporation RSK MiG, which services them under a framework agreement with the Defence Ministry.