Defeat for pro-Russian Radev
Bulgaria delivers weapons to Kiev despite presidential veto
December 9, 2023, 2:54 a.m
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For the first time since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Bulgaria is supplying Kiev with heavy weapons. President Radev is against the donation to Kiev. But the parliament in Sofia overruled the veto of the pro-Russian head of state.
Bulgaria will donate armored transport vehicles and anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine in Russia’s war of aggression. Parliament in Sofia overturned a veto by President Rumen Radev against an agreement with Ukraine for armored cars from Interior Ministry stocks. Head of state Radev, who is considered Russia-friendly, justified his veto on Monday by saying that the approximately 100 BTR-60s from Soviet production were needed for border or civil defense in his own country.
The presidential veto has now been rejected by a majority of 162 parliamentarians from the pro-Western government camp. Only 55 deputies from the pro-Russian Nationalists and the Socialist Party supported the veto. In a separate vote, 147 parliamentarians approved a further aid package for Ukraine consisting of man-portable air defense complexes and anti-aircraft missiles, with 55 opposition votes against. In addition, Ukrainian pilots for F-16 fighter aircraft are to be trained in Bulgaria.
The EU and NATO member country Bulgaria will send Kiev heavy military equipment for the first time since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression. According to the government, these are no longer needed. In order to modernize and strengthen its land forces, the country on NATO’s eastern flank wants to buy wheeled infantry fighting vehicles and other armaments from the USA worth almost 1.3 billion euros. The parliament in Sofia approved a corresponding armaments project a month ago.
The new pro-Western government in Sofia is promising Ukraine more military support than the previous interim government had provided. Head of state Rumen Radev, who appointed the interim cabinet before a new election, rejects the supply of arms and ammunition to Ukraine. The former fighter jet pilot and head of the Air Force sees no military solution to the war.