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Bulgarian parliament overrides presidential veto to approve more military aid to Ukraine

by The Kyiv Independent news desk December 8, 2023 10:47 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. (Borislav Troshev/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Bulgaria's national parliament approved on Dec. 8 two deliveries of military aid to Ukraine, one for air defense equipment and one for armored vehicles, the latter of which required the overriding of a veto by president Rumen Radev, according to state news agency BTA.

The agreement to provide Kyiv with over 100 previously written-off Soviet-era armored vehicles, already signed by both Sofia and Kyiv, had been initially sent back by Radev on Dec. 4 to parliament, which now approved the transfer again, with 162 votes in favor and 55 against.

The second decision on the afternoon of Dec. 8 concerned a draft law to deliver Soviet-era air defense missiles seen as "defective" or expired, which passed with 147 votes in favor and 55 against.

Facing dwindling stocks of ammunition for its Soviet-era air defense systems and with no modern production facilities for the intercepter missiles outside Russia, Ukraine has sought to make use of stocks in former Eastern Bloc countries, even those considered no longer fit for use by their owners.

President Radev has previously blamed Ukraine and the West for prolonging the war, but the National Assembly, ruled by a coalition government, remains largely in favor of supplying aid to Ukraine.

Traditionally, Sofia has not disclosed the details of military aid packages to Ukraine, which are understood to consist mostly of Soviet-era weaponry, vehicles, and ammunition.

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