The US has postponed the Delivery of F-16 to Bulgaria by 2 years Fearing a Leak to Russia
The United States has postponed the delivery of the 8 F-16 planes, which have already been paid for by Bulgaria, by two years, as it fears leaks of secret data about the planes to Russia. This is what "Euroactiv" reports, referring to the opinion of two former Bulgarian defense ministers.
In early April the US State Department approved the sale to Bulgaria of 8 new F-16 fighters (F-16 C Block 70) and related equipment.
"The delay in the delivery of the new American F-16 fighters may be due to a lack of trust in the Bulgarian authorities, who have not proven that they can reliably protect NATO secrets. I think that even the F-16 agreement is frozen under this reason because the security of the technology cannot be guaranteed 100 percent", the publication quotes the words of former minister Velizar Shalamanov. "We have difficulties with the procedures for protection of classified information. I have worked in NATO for ten years and I know how they issue certificates for access to classified information after a study that lasts six to eight months. And here our people issued Peevski's permission in less than five working days", said the former Minister of Defense Velizar Shalamanov.
Delyan Peevski is a billionaire, a media mogul who, after becoming an MP, quickly received a certificate in 2013 in order to head the State Agency for National Security.
Shalamanov's former colleague Todor Tagaev completely agrees with him. "Bulgaria must build a system for the protection of classified information. We continue to allow Russian MiG representatives at Graf Ignatievo Air Base. We need a 110% guarantee that no Russian will set foot there again and that base personnel will not drink vodka with Russians,"