The decision to send 100 Bulgarian armored personnel carriers to Ukraine as a form of military aid has been put on hold for the time being. This comes after Bulgarian President Rumen Radev decided to call for a renewed discussion in parliament regarding the ratification of the law that would allow Bulgaria to supply Ukraine with armored transportation equipment at no cost.
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What are the implications of this delay? In situations where a suspensive veto occurs, as is happening in this case, the president’s rationale needs to be considered. Following this, a fresh discussion of the law or disputed sections of it ensues. After its reenactment [regardless of whether it’s in its original form, partially addresses the president’s objections, or fully aligns with them], the president no longer has the option to reject publication.
According to Article 101 of the Bulgarian Constitution, the president has the ability, within a fixed 15-day period, to send back to parliament for reconsideration and re-voting any approved law or portions of it. In essence, there’s a high probability that, given the current parliamentary majority, the law will get passed after a certain period. Subsequently, the agreed-upon number of armored personnel carriers will start preparing for departure to Ukraine.
The reasons for the veto
Obektivno.bg reports that the justification for the veto mentioned a lack of comprehensive understanding among the people’s representatives of the donation’s specific details. This knowledge gap makes it challenging for them to evaluate objectively whether the donated equipment is surplus to requirements.
The head of state suggests that the armored high-terrain transport equipment gifted to Ukraine could alternatively serve the purpose of bolstering Bulgarian border security. It could also help provide assistance to citizens in times of disasters and accidents, particularly in locations that are difficult to access.
Assuming a stance of prioritizing the safety, health, and life of Bulgarian citizens, the head of state added, “Our recent experiences with the floods in Karlovo and Tsarevo highlight the pivotal role of the Bulgarian Army in executing its legally stipulated mission promptly and effectively. The organizations responsible for ensuring public safety will likely face similar challenges more frequently in the future, which underlines the need for strengthening them instead of diminishing their capacities.”
On November 22nd, an intergovernmental agreement made between Sofia and Kyiv was ratified by the Bulgarian National Assembly. This pact permits the provision of 100 decommissioned armored personnel carriers [APCs] from Bulgaria’s Ministry of Internal Affairs to Ukraine.
The seeds of this agreement were sown in July of this current year, subsequently inked in Sofia during August, and finalized in Ukraine on November 13. Given that the deal touches military and technical corporations, it necessitates additional ratification by the Bulgarian Parliament.
A noteworthy element of this agreement is that it has been applied even before official ratification. This fact was highlighted during its signing. Previously, Bulgaria had indicated that the APCs would be dispatched to Ukraine in the period between September and October.
The Bulgarian APCs have been safely stored in the country’s Ministry of Internal Affairs since the 1980s. This development marks a first, where Sofia has supplied Kyiv with armored equipment directly instead of resorting to intermediaries, as was the practice in the past.
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