Bulgaria said Greece may start patrolling Sofia’s airspace, state media reported on Thursday.
“In accordance with the decisions taken to ensure the security of NATO’s eastern flank, it is possible that the Greek Air Force may perform tasks to reinforce the protection of the airspace of the Republic of Bulgaria during a further specified period of time,” the Bulgarian Defense Ministry was cited as saying by the Bulgarian News Agency (BTA).
The statement, as the ministry said, came in response to Greek media reports claiming that Bulgaria had requested Greece to send fighter jets for the protection of its airspace.
It added: “Bulgarian Air Force will continue to fulfill its national commitments to be on standby in the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defense System to protect national and allied airspace.”
The ministry also said the Greek Air Force will perform its tasks from airfields within the Greek territory if needed.
Bulgaria’s main jet force consisted of eight to 10 aging Soviet-era MIG-29s, which suffered from operability problems due to lack of spare parts amid Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Spain deployed eight Eurofighter jets to protect Bulgarian airspace last November.