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Bulgarian president vetoes agreement on armored vehicles for Ukraine

by Martin Fornusek December 4, 2023 2:13 PM 2 min read
Bulgarian President Rumen Radev gives a press statement as he arrives at the Europa Forum Wachau in Furth bei Göttweig, Austria, on June 24, 2023. (Alex Halada/APA/AFP via Getty Images)
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Bulgarian President Rumen Radev said on Dec. 4 that he had vetoed Bulgaria's agreement with Kyiv to provide Ukraine with 100 armored vehicles, returning the deal to the parliament, the Bulgarian news portal Novinite reported.

Radev has repeatedly argued against military assistance for Kyiv and has been accused of taking a pro-Moscow stance. His position has put him at odds with Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov's pro-Ukrainian government.

The agreement, signed between the Bulgarian Interior Ministry and the Ukrainian Defense Ministry in Sofia on Aug. 8 and in Kyiv on Nov. 13, was finally ratified by the Bulgarian parliament on Nov. 22.

It provides for the supply of 100 older armored vehicles from the Interior Ministry's stocks together with armaments and spare parts, free of charge.

Denkov believes that the parliament will overcome Radev's veto. Bulgaria's legislature has the right to override the veto and send the agreement further without any changes by a simple majority vote.

"This veto will be overcome, so I don't see anything to comment on," the prime minister said.

The president justified his opposition by underscoring potential domestic needs for the vehicles. He said they could be used for protecting Bulgaria's borders or for assisting citizens during disasters in remote areas.

The parliamentary defense committee approved the agreement with a comment that the vehicles are no longer needed at home and could, therefore, be supplied to Ukraine.

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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