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Bulgarian Defense Minister’s jet fighter proposal fails

Dec. 13, 2012 at 9:01 AM

SOFIA, Bulgaria, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Bulgarian Defense Minister Anyu Angelov's proposed jet fighter deal has fallen apart.

Angelov reportedly attempted to secure Cabinet approval to proceed with direct negotiations on buying jet fighter aircraft without the process going to a direct competition tender.

Unnamed Bulgarian Defense Ministry sources said the minister's efforts failed because the proposal hadn't been coordinated with other government ministries.

Bulgarian sources said one government official opposing the plan was Finance Minister Simeon Djankov, who objected to the agreement's potential cost, estimated at $457 million.

The Bulgarian media earlier said Angelov's intention was to buy -- probably from Portugal -- second-hand U.S. F-16 Flying Falcon fighters made by U.S. aerospace firm General Dynamics.

That plan had been given impetus during a Dec. 3 Oval Office meeting between Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and U.S. President Barack Obama, The Sofia Globe reported.

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