Bulgaria: Defense Committee Rejects President's Veto on APCs for Ukraine

Politics | December 6, 2023, Wednesday // 17:51
Bulgaria: Bulgaria: Defense Committee Rejects President's Veto on APCs for Ukraine

The President's veto on the Law on the Ratification of the Agreement by which Bulgaria provides APCs to Ukraine free of charge was rejected by the Defense Committee. With 11 votes "for" and 4 "against", the deputies again supported the law.

President Rumen Radev returned for a new discussion in parliament the Law on the ratification of the agreement by which Bulgaria provides armored personnel carriers to Ukraine free of charge.

In the reasons of the head of state, it is noted that the deputies are not sufficiently familiar with the specific parameters of the donation, which makes it impossible to objectively assess whether the equipment is no longer necessary. According to him, the provided equipment is highly passable and could be used to guard the Bulgarian border and to provide assistance in the event of disasters and accidents.

According to the defense minister, the president's reasons for imposing the veto are not related to the Ministry of Defense, because "the machines are owned by the Ministry of the Interior." He added that the army had shown no interest in the armored personnel carrier.

Tagarev again pointed out that the APCs are no longer necessary and specified that these are not machines that Ukrainian soldiers can use to attack, but they can be used by the troops for territorial defense and they work in mild conditions.

Regarding their transportation, the Minister of Defense indicated that three ministries are involved - of transport and communications, of internal affairs and of defense. It became clear from Tagarev's words that the question of who will bear the costs was not discussed.

"Vazrazhdane" supported the president's veto.

"The very fact that the machines will be used by Ukraine shows that it can also work in Bulgaria," believes Nikolay Drenchev from "Vazrazhdane".

The chairman of the commission Hristo Gadjev from GERB-SDS clarified that the draft decision has been considered since June and the debate has been going on for more than half a year, which means that "the topic has not been beaten by the National Assembly".

"These machines have been declared redundant by the composition of the Ministry of the Interior, not yesterday, not today, but years ago. Bulgaria has more modern equipment that will benefit it. The equipment even in the reserve of the Ministry of Defense is more modern." Gadjev also said.

Ch. Commissioner Nikolay Nikolov confirmed that the old gendarmerie armored personnel carriers are not needed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

"The Ministry of the Interior considers that the military special armored equipment in question is no longer necessary for our structures in the performance of their functions. It is not necessary for the wartime tasks of the Ministry of the Interior, just as it is not possible to use it by the structures of the border police for guarding the Bulgarian border. "For reactions in a complicated situation, the General Directorate of Fire Safety and Protection of the Population has modern equipment available - approximately 500 off-road vehicles," said Nikolov.

He added that this number also includes 33 machines of the type of chain-type special equipment and 85 ATVs. Chief Commissioner Nikolov confirmed that there are armored personnel carriers among the 500 vehicles, but their number is classified information.

The agreement on the provision of armored transport equipment was signed in Sofia on August 8, as well as in Kyiv - on November 13. On November 22, with 152 votes "for" and 57 "against", the National Assembly accepted that Bulgaria donates 100 armored personnel carriers to Ukraine free of charge.

The president's veto will be voted on in the plenary on Friday.

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Tags: veto, president, Ukraine, Bulgaria

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