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Bulgaria has yet to send Ukraine pledged armored vehicles

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 17, 2024 11:45 PM 2 min read
Military personnel take part in the Pirin Sentinel 23 multinational battle group military exercises in Novo Selo, Bulgaria on May 31, 2023. Photo for illustrative purposes (Borislav Troshev/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Bulgaria has still not sent Ukraine the 100 armored vehicles the country's parliament approved in December, the Bulgarian media outlet BNR reported on Jan. 17, citing comments made at the parliament's defense committee.

Bulgaria's parliament approved two tranches of military aid to Ukraine on Dec. 8, including the delivery of 100 older armored vehicles from the Interior Ministry's stocks together with armaments and spare parts, free of charge. The decision to send the vehicles overrode a veto by Bulgarian President Rumen Radev.

Bulgarian Defense Minister Todor Tagarev said the delay in delivering the vehicles was related to shipping costs.

It is possible for the Bulgarian government to pay for the delivery itself, Tagarev said, but the government was still exploring other options, and hoped that other allies of Ukraine would support the transfer financially.

"This is...a very serious logistical operation," he said.

Bulgaria has provided Ukraine with a variety of aid since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, but pro-Russian sentiment has remained prevalent in the country.

Many Bulgarians also support a position of neutrality regarding Russia's war against Ukraine. A poll conducted in October 2022 found that 67.5% of respondents preferred their government take no side in the war.

Bulgaria has become increasingly supportive of Ukraine as the war has progressed.

Almost 65% of Bulgarians polled in June 2023 supported Ukraine's accession to the EU, and 64% were in favor of supplying military aid.

Another 66% wanted the government to ban Russian state-owned media.

Bulgaria’s Soviet stockpiles and large defense industry may be key to Ukraine’s success
Bulgaria has had to walk a fine line, trying to covertly support Ukraine without provoking Russia. The Balkan state has been historically influenced by Moscow. Opinions on Ukraine are split among its 6.7 million people, many of whom buy into Kremlin propaganda. The new coalition government elected…

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