Bulgarian President Vetoes Deal on Supply of Armoured Personnel Carriers to Ukraine

Monday, 4 December 2023

Rumen Radev, the President of Bulgaria, has vetoed the law passed by the parliament on the ratification of the agreement with Ukraine on the supply of armoured personnel carriers, citing the fact that "the members of parliament were not sufficiently familiar with the specific conditions of the delivery".

"I am guided by the conviction that the safety, health and life of Bulgarian citizens should be the first priority," Nova.bg cites Radev.

He believes that the members of parliament did not have the opportunity to assess objectively whether the provided equipment is outdated and necessary.

The Bulgarian president emphasises that neither the wartime tasks assigned to the Ministry of Internal Affairs nor the needs of the Main Directorates of Border Police and Fire Safety and Public Safety were considered.

Radev said that the armoured transport equipment provided to Ukraine could be used specifically to protect the Bulgarian border and assist the population in case of disasters and accidents, including in hard-to-reach areas.

Now the document will be returned to the parliament, which has the right to approve it without changes and send it for further discussion.

On 22 November, the National Assembly of Bulgaria ratified an intergovernmental agreement between Sofia and Kyiv that provides for the supply of 100 decommissioned  armoured personnel carriers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Bulgaria to Ukraine.

The agreement was concluded in July of this year, with Bulgaria signing it in August and Ukraine on 13 November. Since it concerns military-technical cooperation, it had to be additionally ratified by the Bulgarian parliament.

As previously reported, armoured personnel carriers have been in the warehouse of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Bulgaria since the 1980s. This is the first time when the Bulgarian side would deliver armoured vehicles to Kyiv directly and not through intermediaries, as it did before.

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