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Bulgaria to send 100 armored vehicles to Ukraine, ignoring president’s veto

The Bulgarian parliament ratified an agreement to provide Ukraine with Soviet-era armored personnel carriers that have been stored in warehouses for decades.
The National Assembly (Bulgaria’s parliament). Credit: The Sofia Globe.

Bulgaria’s parliament has overridden President Roumen Radev’s veto on the agreement between Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry and Ukraine’s Defence Ministry on Bulgaria supplying Soviet-era armored personnel carriers to Ukraine, ratified by Parliament last month, the Sofia Globe reported.

According to the Sofia Globe, 161 Bulgarian MPs voted to override the presidential veto, while 55 others voted against it. Bulgaria’s parliament may overturn the President’s veto through a simple majority vote. Since taking office in January 2017, President Radev has used veto for 34 times, the Sofia Globe reported.

Earlier this week, Roumen Radev vetoed the ratification of the agreement, saying that the armored personnel carriers, which Bulgaria planned to deliver to Ukraine, could be put to use by the Border Police of Bulgaria or the firefighting directorate of the Interior Ministry of Bulgaria. Roumen Radev said that MPs failed to objectively assess whether these armored personnel carriers are no longer needed in Bulgaria to fight natural disasters and protect the border.

President Radev has repeatedly opposed Bulgaria’s military aid for Ukraine, claiming that sending Soviet-era equipment to Ukraine would diminish Bulgaria’s own defense capability and “would risk involving Bulgaria in the war.”

Bulgaria will supply 100 Soviet-era armored personnel carriers and available armament, as well as spare parts, to help Ukraine boost its defensive capabilities in the face of the ongoing Russian invasion. These armored personnel carriers were manufactured about 40 years ago and have been stored in the Bulgarian Interior Ministry warehouses without practical use for decades.

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