Spain to send up to eight fighter jets to Bulgaria

Military exercises of the Spanish Air Force, Ocean Sky 2021

SOFIA (Reuters) - Spain will send up to eight warplanes to Bulgaria next month to help with the its air policing tasks amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Bulgarian Defence Minister Dimitar Stoyanov said on Thursday.

Stoyanov said the Spanish Eurofighter jets were expected to land in Bulgaria on November 1 and will perform airspace protection duties along with the Bulgarian Air Force until December 23.

"This is yet another mission on enhanced air policing. It will be a joint airspace security duty, " Stoyanov told reporters.

Spain and the Netherlands took part in similar air policing missions in the Black Sea country earlier this year.

Bulgaria, a NATO member since 2004, is hosting a NATO battlegroup of up to 1,000 troops under Italian command as the alliance seeks to bolster its eastern flank.

(Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Gareth Jones)