ARMS EXPORTS DOUBLE IN SECOND HALF OF 2001
Bulgaria's arms exports in the second half of last year amounted to USD200MN, double the amount for the full 2000, Vladimir Velichkov, Head of the State Commission on Arms Exports said at the roundtable on Bulgaria's arms industry. The rise is attributed to improved relations with Russia and the renewal of production licences of local arms manufacurers, Minister of Economy Nikolay Vassilev said. India, the Czech Republic, the USA, Great Britain, and some countries in Asia and South America, were the biggest buyers of Bulgarian arms. A total of 24 enterprises in the sector have been privatized so far, Economy Ministry data show. According to Minister Vassilev the state's strict control has prevented international scandals involving Bulgarian arms sales to rogue states. Fines of up to BGN1N M will be imposed for illegal trade in arms under legislative amendments approved by the Cabinet earlier this year.