Bulgaria to Buy 14 MiG-29s, Upgrade Plant

Russia is planning to sign a $500 million deal to supply Bulgaria with 14 MiG-29 fighter jets, a Russian newspaper reported Friday.

The contract, expected to be signed this month during Bulgarian Prime Minister Stefan Sofiyanki's visit, also stipulates that Russia will help Bulgaria modernize an aircraft repair factory in Plovdiv, said the daily newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

It quoted Boris Kuzyk, President Boris Yeltsin's adviser for arms sales abroad, as saying Bulgaria already has a fleet of some 20 older MiG-29s and needs to upgrade the Plovdiv factory to properly maintain the aircraft.

"The factory would also be able to repair MiG fighters owned by Asian and African nations, which would let Bulgaria earn millions of dollars every year,'' Kuzyk said.