Bulgaria’s Defence Minister: APCs for Ukraine are expected to arrive there in a few days

The armoured personnel carriers (APCs) that Bulgaria’s Parliament voted to supply to Ukraine are expected to arrive there in a few days, Defence Minister Todor Tagarev told Bulgarian National Television in an interview.

The proposal to send the armoured personnel carriers, bought in the final years of Bulgaria’s communist regime, was announced on July 13 2023 and approved by the National Assembly on July 21, while the government approved an agreement on the transfer on August 4.

The National Assembly approved the ratification of an agreement between the Interior Ministry and Ukraine’s Defence Ministry on November 22.

President Roumen Radev vetoed this ratification on December 4, to which the National Assembly responded four days later by overturning his veto.

The Defence Ministry has been criticised, including from within the coalitions supporting the government, for more than two months having passed and the APCs still not having left for Ukraine.

A Facebook post by Tagarev on February 2 created the impression that the APCs were finally bound for Ukraine, but it turned out not to be the case.

Tagarev told BNT on February 24: “ The armoured personnel carriers belong to the Ministry of the Interior. The transport itself is carried out for the most part by railway, and we do not have such possibilities.

“It was only in December that we had a decision that would give us the opportunity to start this process. We are talking about a large number of machines,” he said.

“The army collected these machines in three weeks from all over the country, to send them. We hope that they will arrive in a few days.”

Asked about GERB-UDF leader Boiko Borissov’s criticism that a number of decisions on military aid to Ukraine have not happened despite being voted on in the National Assembly last year, Tagarev said: “I am sure that Mr. Borissov has access to all the information about the aid we provide to Ukraine, but perhaps he did not have time to familiarise himself with it.

“We strictly implement the decisions of the National Assembly and act within the framework of the law. As far as possible these decisions are taken quickly.

“There are quite a few peculiarities of the processes. Yesterday the Cabinet made a decision of extreme importance and we count on Parliament to approve it so that we can continue to provide vital assistance to Ukraine,” Tagarev said.

Marking the second anniversary of Russia’s February 24 2022 invasion of Ukraine, BNT played a recording of Tagarev saying at the time: “Putin’s appetite will not be satiated, the minimum goal he is currently pursuing is to take the southern part of Ukraine so as to provide a land link with Crimea.

“More likely his goal is to take all of eastern Ukraine, but also very probably all of Ukraine. And even if he succeeds, he will not stop there, he does not recognize 10 more independent countries that were part of the USSR, he does not recognize the presence of NATO from the countries in Eastern Europe, if he is not stopped, he himself will not stop”.

Commenting on his February 24 2022 remarks, Tagarev told BNT that his opinion had not changed.

“Putin’s policy has not changed. There is no military solution to the problem so far. Neither he has succeeded in achieving his goals, nor has Ukraine so far succeeded in liberating its territory. The war continues and it appears that President Putin has no other intentions,” Tagarev said.

(Archive photo from January 2024 of Ukrainian ambassador Olesya Ilashchuk and Defence Ministry Tagarev: Ministry of Defence)

Please support The Sofia Globe by signing up to become a subscriber to our page on Patreon:

Become a Patron!

The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to sofiaglobe.com's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage. https://www.patreon.com/user?u=32709292