Bulgaria increased its exports of arms and military equipment by 200 percent

By Defence Industry Europe

Exports of weapons and military equipment from Bulgaria surged by 200 percent in 2022 compared to the previous year, reaching approximately EUR1.6-1.7 billion, Bulgarian Minister of Economy Bogdan Bogdanov revealed in an interview with Bulgarian public television, BNT.

“The arms industry is flourishing. It is a critical sector for Bulgaria, and I must emphasize that our current objective is to sustain this positive trajectory, foster industry growth, and modernize our enterprises. This extends beyond the economic aspect; it is a matter of our national security,” stated Bogdanov.

Acknowledging the current challenges faced by the Bulgarian defence sector, the minister expressed the government’s commitment to providing support wherever possible. However, he emphasized that the state does not act as a controlling authority and cannot exert excessive influence over a manufacturer’s equipment sales.


“We enable our companies to directly engage with specific countries where they have vested interests, and we extend assistance whenever necessary,” reassured the Economy Minister.

Bogdanov was also questioned about the progress of the investigation into the recent warehouse fire at EMKO, a defence company located in the eastern Bulgarian town of Karnobat. The fire erupted at the end of June, and at present, there is no available information regarding the investigation. This incident marked the second such occurrence at the facility, following an ammunition explosion in July 2022. Although an investigation has been underway, the prosecution has yet to disclose any significant developments.

Bulgaria stands as one of the largest arms exporters to Ukraine, largely due to the compatibility of Bulgarian-produced equipment with the Soviet-era models employed by the Ukrainian army. Bulgarian weapons were supplied to Kyiv even during periods of interim governments appointed by President Rumen Radev, despite the head of state’s opposition to sending military assistance to Ukraine.



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