Bulgarian President Radev vetoes agreement on APCs for Ukraine

Bulgarian President Roumen Radev said on December 4 that he vetoed the agreement between Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry and Ukraine’s Defence Ministry on Bulgaria supplying old armoured personnel carriers (APCs) to Ukraine, ratified by the National Assembly last month.

In his motives, Radev said that the transfer of APCs would “deny Bulgaria military equipment” and argued that it could be put to use by the Border Police or firefighting directorate of the Interior Ministry.

Radev said that MPs did not discuss possible alternative uses of the APCs by the Interior Ministry, in part because the agreement was ratified at first and second reading on the same day, and said that it was his “duty” to point out the possible negative repercussions of the deal and give Parliament “another opportunity” to discuss the deal.

The agreement provides for Bulgaria to supply the APCs and available armament, as well as spare parts, all surplus to the requirements of the Interior Ministry. The vehicles were acquired in the 1980s by the communist regime of the time and have been mothballed for decades.

Bulgaria’s constitution grants the head of state a limited power of veto, through enabling the President to return legislation to the National Assembly for further discussion.

The National Assembly may overturn the President’s veto through a simple majority vote or accept the veto and review the vetoed clauses. Since taking office in January 2017, Radev made liberal use of the power and this was his 34th vetoed bill.

The National Assembly overturned the veto on all but five occasions – four times that the veto was accepted by MPs, including twice earlier this year, and one instance where the government coalition at the time failed to muster the support needed to overturn it.

(Roumen Radev photo: president.bg)

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