In this connection, the statement of the Bulgarian Minister of Defense Krasimir Karakachanov sounds particularly interesting and even shocking for Brussels:
“The T-72 is a very good tank. If we decide to sell them, there will immediately be people willing to purchase them. We have already made a mistake when we sold our“ old ”T-55. They saved them in Russia, modernized and used them! more maneuverable! It turned out to be an ideal means of warfare for urban conditions. Which means “obsolete”? We sold our “obsolete” MiG-55 to Croatia, and they successfully use them! that they studied in the Soviet military academies! Now they have suddenly turned in the "atlantists", in the NATO members. The Bulgarian people are not a bottomless pit to milk them for stupid projects and tell them stories about the "advantage" of western technology and exclusively about "atlantic values"! "
Regarding the modernization of the T-72, Karakachanov said that many additional protection options had been created for him, which markedly increased the fighting qualities of the vehicle.
We remind you that the Bulgarian Minister of War at the same time also holds the post of deputy prime minister in the government of Bulgaria. In the 2017 elections in parliament, patriotically oriented parties gained a significant presence. Prime Minister Boyko Borisov was forced to form a ruling coalition with them, which immediately affected the foreign policy of Bulgaria. For example, the nationalist Ataka party, a member of this coalition, has an anti-NATO political platform, and its leader Volen Siderov often visits Moscow. Karakachanov himself is the chairman of one of the patriotic parties - VMRO / Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization /, which has long-standing historical traditions in Bulgarian society. In addition, the President of Bulgaria, General Rumen Radev, advocates improving relations with Russia.
The Defense Ministry responded to the decision of the Atlantic Council - a small pro-Western non-governmental group of politicians who remained "overboard" in the political competition in Bulgaria in recent years. They stated that “instead of synchronizing with the neighboring NATO member countries, the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense is likely to support Russia under sanctions by paying a huge amount for repairing old military equipment. This is the third tender for the repair of Soviet equipment only this year. And this is after as almost the 30 years the USSR ceased to exist and almost 15-year-old membership of Bulgaria in NATO ".
Recall that due to the lack of equipment compatible with NATO defense systems, Bulgaria does not participate in joint missions.