The logistics operation to send military aid to Ukraine, in line with a vote by Bulgaria’s National Assembly, started on December 23, Deputy Defence Minister Katerina Gramatikova told a news conference.
Gramatikova made the statement as it emerged that head of state President Roumen Radev had promulgated Parliament’s decision in the State Gazette, thus not heeding a call by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) for him to veto the move.
Separately, speaking on December 23, Radev said that a veto could not be imposed on an international treaty that already had been concluded. He described those in Parliament who had voted in favour of arms for Ukraine as “warmongers”.
BSP leader Kornelia Ninova hit out as Radev, saying that by not imposing the veto, he had “betrayed the left-wing people”.
Ninova said that Radev “owed society an explanation”.
Addressing herself to Radev, Ninova said: “Why did you take the risk of dragging Bulgaria into the war? You betrayed the socialists, who are for peace and who in two campaigns promoted you and made every effort for you to be elected (president)”.
Ninova said that the BSP wanted the move challenged in the Constitutional Court and, if that did not happen, would appeal to the Ombudsman.
Gramatikova told the Defence Ministry news conference that negotiations were underway with Bulgaria’s allies on getting replacement equipment.
“Information on provisional results has already been provided to the defence committee in the National Assembly,” she said.
She said that along with the search for replacement capabilities, Bulgaria must embark on “real actions” on the modernisation projects.
Defence Chief Admiral Emil Eftimov said that 2023 would be “the year of the ground forces”.
He said that the project for infantry combat vehicles, the procedure of which has been restarted, was expected to be implemented in 2023.
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