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Spain will send four fighter jets and 130 troops to Bul...

Newsdeck

Ukraine crisis

Spain will send four fighter jets and 130 troops to Bulgaria

epa09721637 Belgian Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon on display during media day at the NATO Air Policing Mission in the Baltic states enhancement at the Amari Air Base, Estonia, 01 February 2022. NATO allies made the decision to send an augmentation detachment to the NATO Air Policing Mission once again in the context of Russia's further increased tensions along Ukraine's borders and with regard to the necessity to strengthen the security of NATO's eastern allies, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. EPA-EFE/VALDA KALNINA
By Reuters
09 Feb 2022 0

SOFIA, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Spain will send four warplanes and 130 troops to Bulgaria this week for air policing tasks amid tensions over the Russian military build-up on the Ukrainian border, the Bulgarian defence ministry said on Wednesday.

The first Spanish Eurofighter jets are expected to land in Bulgaria by the end of the week for airspace protection duties together with the Bulgarian Air Force until the end of March, the ministry said.

“The mission is implementing measures to ensure the security of NATO member countries on the Eastern flank,” the defence ministry said in a statement.

The Netherlands is expected to deploy two F-35 aircraft to Bulgaria in April and May for air policing activities.

Bulgaria, a NATO member since 2004, plans to set up a battlegroup of up to 1,000 troops under Bulgarian command and in close cooperation with NATO, which will also include soldiers from other allied countries.

Ukraine believes there is still a chance of resolving the standoff through diplomacy but that there are already grounds to impose sanctions on Moscow, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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