SOFIA (Reuters) – NATO member Bulgaria could help safe its southwestern neighbor North Macedonia’s airspace if it completes a deal for the acquire of eight F-16 aircraft from the United States, Key Minister Boyko Borissov reported on Wednesday.
Bulgaria, which is also a member of the European Union, is on the lookout to exchange its aging Soviet-created MiG-29s and make improvements to compliance with NATO specifications.
A Pentagon agency stated on Monday that the U.S. Situation Division had authorized the attainable sale of eight F-16 plane and related gear to Bulgaria at an believed charge of $1.67 billion.
On the other hand, Bulgaria expects the United States to provide to sell the jets for its air drive at a discounted price of $1.two billion.
“We spoke with (my) colleague (North Macedonian Key Minister Zoran) Zaev incredibly final 7 days… to guard North Macedonia’s airspace when we acquire the new jets,” Borissov informed reporters.
“Тhis will be superior for them and for us.”
The official U.S. proposal to sell F-16 fighter jets to the Balkan state is anticipated to get there inside just a week, Bulgarian Defense Minister Krasimir Karakachanov reported on Tuesday.
The anticipated deal for Lockheed Martin’s F-16 Block 70 would be the Black Sea state’s greatest armed forces procurement for the reason that the close of Communist rule in 1989.
North Macedonia hopes to turn out to be NATO’s 30th member subsequent 12 months and also expects shortly to protected a day to get began EU accession talks subsequent a provide with Greece to adjust its recognize from Macedonia. Athens skilled formerly blocked the ex-Yugoslav republic’s efforts to be portion of the two organizations.