Thursday 9th of February 2023

the warmongers' lament.....

Bulgarian lawmakers voted on Thursday to supply Ukraine with arms, with socialist and nationalist MPs resisting the decision. This leaves Hungary as the final NATO member refusing to provide military aid to Kiev.

A bill authorizing weapons supplies to Ukraine passed Bulgaria’s National Assembly by 175 votes to 49, the Novinite news site reported. The pro-Western GERB party, currently the largest faction in the assembly, proposed the bill amid coalition talks following elections last month.

The issue of arms supplies to Ukraine is a contentious one in Bulgaria, where nearly a third of the population view Russia as their country’s most important strategic partner, 35% see Ukraine as a “puppet of the West,” and 38% want to leave the NATO alliance, according to Globsec, a Slovakian think tank.

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev has spoken out against weapons transfers to Kiev, arguing that those in favor of arms shipments are “warmongers” who risk dragging Bulgaria into the conflict with Russia. 

Socialist leader Kornelia Ninova, whose party was in a ruling coalition until August, warned on Thursday that “the Bulgarian national interest is not to provide weapons, because that would make us a party to the conflict.”  Kostadin Kostadinov’s ‘Revival’ party also voted against the bill, with the nationalist leader complaining that “Bulgaria is supposedly ruled by Bulgarians, and we are talking about providing our little remaining armaments and literally bringing Bulgaria into the war.”

While Bulgarian parliamentarians have been debating the country’s official stance on arming its neighbor, the country’s arms industry has reportedly sold more than $1 billion worth of weapons to customers in Poland and Romania for re-export to Ukraine since February.

It is still unclear how much of Bulgaria’s predominantly Soviet weapons stock will be sent to Ukraine, and what, if any, NATO equipment the alliance will offer Sofia in replacement. The government now has a month to list equipment for export and negotiate with Western NATO members for replacements.

With the bill’s passage, only one NATO member remains steadfast on refusing to arm Ukraine: Hungary. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has refused to supply weapons or allow arms to enter Ukraine via Hungarian territory. Orban has also refused to embargo Russian energy exports and has called for direct talks between Russia and the US to end the conflict.




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war iz goody.......

Yahoo News has identified a major beneficiary of the Russia-Ukraine slugfest: the US military industrial complex, which is reaping a windfall even as the bloody conflict causes economic havoc, energy shortages and a looming food crisis around the world.

As the media outlet reported on Saturday, EU nations have committed to about $230 billion in new weapons purchases since the Russian military offensive against Kiev started in February. US defense contractors are poised to land the lion’s share of those orders, given their dominance as suppliers to European militaries, Yahoo added.

Many European nations turn to US arms makers for more than half of all their weapons purchases. Yahoo cited data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) to show examples of US dominance in European arsenals. For instance, US-made arms accounted for 95% of the weapons purchases by the Netherlands from 2017 to 2021. The ratios were 83% US weaponry for Norway, 77% for the UK, and 72% for Italy.

European weapons imports jumped 19% during the five-year period as then-President Donald Trump prodded his NATO allies to meet their obligations for defense spending. The Ukraine crisis is set to create an even bigger windfall, as President Joe Biden leads an international campaign to flood Ukraine with weapons and the conflict triggers accelerated steps by European nations to bolster their own defenses.

“This is certainly the biggest increase in defense spending in Europe since the end of the Cold War,” Ian Bond, director of foreign policy at the Center for European Reform, told Yahoo. The crisis in Eastern Europe dispelled the notion that war on the continent is no longer possible, he added. “They’re waking up to the fact that not only is it very possible, but it is happening, and it’s happening not that many miles away from them.”

Since Biden took office in January 2021, European countries entered at least the initial stage of negotiations for $33 billion in arms purchases, including $21 billion since February, Yahoo said, citing figures from the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.

US defense contractors will also benefit from Washington’s massive military aid to Kiev, as the Pentagon races to replenish stocks of artillery pieces, rocket launchers and other weapons. Biden has set aside more than $65 billion in military and economic aid for Ukraine since the conflict began.

READ MORE: Pentagon’s bonanza for US missile makers

Russia has warned that the influx of Western weapons will prolong the crisis while making the US and other NATO members de facto participants.









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