site.btaUPDATED Parliamentary Defence Committee Does Not Support President's Veto on Provision of Armored Vehicles to Ukraine
The parliamentary Defence Committee Wednesday did not support the veto President Rumen Radev put Monday on the previously ratified agreement between the Bulgarian Interior Ministry and Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence on the provision of armoured transport vehicles to Ukraine.
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. In November, a 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.
On Wednesday, 11 MPs voted for the provision of armoured transport vehicles to Ukraine, while 4 voted against.
"We have been debating the issue for more than half a year. These machines have been declared redundant and have not been needed by the Interior Ministry for years," Defence Committee Chair Hristo Gadzhev (GERB-UDF) told journalists. He noted that the Interior Ministry tried to sell the machines in question, but there was no interest. "You need everything when you are at war," Gadzhev said, referring to questions from the opposition about why Ukraine needs this equipment but not Bulgaria. The Bulgarian state has much more modern equipment, the GERB-UDF MP added.
Vazrazhdane MP Nikolay Drenchev suggested MPs and journalists should go and get acquainted with the machines.
"These machines were given to the Internal Security Units that were established in the 1980s and were not used by the gendarmerie [which was established in 1997 in place of the Internal Forces]. They are definitely no longer needed by the Interior Ministry," Defence Minister Todor Tagarev said before the start of the Defence Committee's meeting. He explained that the Ukrainian army could not go on the offensive with these machines, but they would serve them in certain conditions. "These are wheeled machines and cannot be used in snow. To guard the border you need off-road equipment," Tagarev added.