site.btaPresident Radev Vetoes Provision of Armored Vehicles to Ukraine
President Rumen Radev vetoed the previously ratified agreement between the Bulgarian Interior Ministry and Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence on the provision of armoured transport vehicles to Ukraine and returned it to Parliament for another discussion, said the presidential press office on Monday.
In his reasons for the veto, Radev noted that the MPs were not sufficiently familiar with the specific parameters of the donation, which made it impossible for them to objectively assess whether the provided equipment is no longer necessary.
The President stressed that neither the wartime tasks assigned to the Ministry of the Interior nor the needs of the Border Police General Directorate and Fire Safety and Protection of the Population departments were taken into account. The armored high-terrain transport equipment provided to Ukraine could be used specifically for the protection of the Bulgarian border and for providing assistance to the population in the event of disasters and accidents, including in hard-to-reach areas, the President pointed out.
"I am guided by the conviction that the safety, health and lives of the Bulgarian citizens should be a top priority," added Radev in his reasons.
He recalled the recent floods in Karlovo and Tsarevo, when the Interior Ministry once again relied on the Bulgarian Army. Cases like this will become more frequent, and this necessitates strengthening, not weakening, added the President.
The agreement on the provision of armoured transport equipment was signed in Sofia on August 8, 2023 and in Kyiv on November 13, 2023.
On November 22, at the first and second reading, the National Assembly approved the provision of armoured transport equipment with its available armament to Ukraine. The ratification was supported by 131 MPs, 49 were against, and one abstained. MPs from BSP for Bulgaria and Vazrazhdane were against the ratification. GERB-UDF, Continue the change - Democratic Bulgaria, Movement for Rights and Freedoms and seven MPs from the group of There is Such a People voted in favour. One of the MPs from BSP for Bulgaria abstained.
The report of the parliamentary Defence Committee stated that with the agreement, the Ukrainian side will be provided with armoured transport equipment with its available armament, as well as spare parts for its service, which is no longer is use for the needs of the Interior Ministry.