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Bulgarian President Radev vetoes donation of 100 armored vehicles to Ukraine (updated)

Bulgaria’s pro-Russian President Radev vetoed the donation of armored vehicles to Ukraine, claiming that MPs were inadequately informed about the donation’s specifics and its implications for national security.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (R) meeting with President of Bulgaria Rumen Radev (L) on 6 July 2023, in Sofia. Source: president.gov.ua
Bulgarian President Radev vetoes donation of 100 armored vehicles to Ukraine (updated)

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev sent the Law on the Ratification of the Agreement back to parliament for further discussion, by which Bulgaria provides armored transport vehicles to Ukraine, Nova.bg reports.

Referring to the President’s Office report, Nova.bg says that In the reasons for the veto, Radev claimed that the members of parliament were not sufficiently acquainted with the specific parameters of the donation, which rendered them unable to objectively assess whether the provided equipment was obsolete. 

Radev alleges that neither the wartime tasks assigned to the Ministry of the Interior nor the needs of the Main Directorates for “Border Police” and “Fire Safety and Population Security” have been considered.

According to the President’s excuses for the veto, the armored vehicles earmarked for Ukraine could have been used to safeguard the Bulgarian border and assist the population in disasters and emergencies, including in hard-to-reach areas. Radev stressed the importance of prioritizing Bulgarian citizens’ security, health, and lives.

The move is aligned with Russia’s strategy to reduce the amount of Western military aid for Ukraine to make it harder for Ukraine to fend off the ongoing Russian invasion.

In July, Ukraine criticized Bulgaria’s pro-Russian president over his remarks that Kyiv is to blame for Russia’s ongoing war and that supplying arms to Ukraine only prolongs the conflict.

On 22 November, the Bulgarian parliament voted to ratify an agreement between the Bulgarian Interior Ministry and the Ukrainian Defense Ministry that regulates the transfer of 100 old armored personnel carriers from Sofia to Kyiv.

Update:

According to Novinite, Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov believes that the majority in the country’s parliament will reject Radev’s veto:

This veto will be overcome, so I don’t see anything to comment on,” the Bulgarian Prime Minister said.

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