soha.vn/quan-su/linh-bulgaria-noi-loan-vi-chinh-phu-bo-may-bay-nga-dung-hang-my-20141009143825339.htm (originally in Vietnamese)
Bulgarian goverment decided to stop using the Russian-made military aircrafts. This decisions caused a small protests inside the Air Force.
When they join NATO, poor countries in Eastern Europe can enjoy the protection of the West. But they have to pay a great price in order to be suitable with the military systems of rich countries. The recent issues of Bulgaria is a notable example.
According to Trud, Bulgarian goverment has just decided to retire the Russian military aircrafts. 15 MiG-29s, 6 MiG-21s, 14 Su-25s will have been gradually retired before 2020. Due to such events, 300 pilots, military engineers and technicians lost their job, and therefore a small protest has occured inside the Bulgarian army.
The Trud quoted that Bulgarian Defense Minister Velizar Shalamanov is the one who provide a strong support for this decision. The Minister claimed that Bulgaria has to be independent from Russia and military independence is the first priority.
The truth is simply that, as Bulgaria has joined NATO, it has to use NATO weapons and cannot use Russian stuffs anymore. But Bulgaria is one of the poorest countries in NATO (sorry, Kommissar, I do not mean it), and NATO weapons are expensive, therefore it has been ten years but Bulgaria still has to use Russian weapons.
In order to replaced the retired Russian aircrafts, Defense Minister Shalamanov suggested that Bulgaria should use 300 mil euro to buy 8 new Western aircrafts. But some analysists criticized this proposal, they commented that Shalamanov is ignorant about weapon contracts. After all, with 300 mil euro Bulgaria can only buy second-hand F-16s. The price of brand-new aircraft is 100 euro/piece at least.
The Trud criticized that, at the moment, Bulgaria may have not find out how to buy second-hand F-16s. In 2013, Bulgaria tried to bought fighters from Portugal. Trud commented that Bulgaria can also buy aircrafts from Greece. Trud mentioned Portugal and Greece as a way to criticized the current Bulgaria's decision, because both Greece and Portugal are NATO members with severe financial problems.
Well, if Bulgaria do not want to use Russian MiGs and Su... sells it to Vietnam !