Bulgaria Will Send Armored Vehicles to Aid Ukraine

Defense | November 22, 2023, Wednesday // 10:05|  views

Bulgarian Deputies adopted today in two readings a draft law on the ratification of the Agreement between the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Bulgaria and the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine for the free provision of armored transport equipment, signed in Sofia on August 8, 2023 and in Kyiv on November 13, 2023. With the agreement, the Ukrainian side will be provided with armored transport equipment with its available armament, as well as spare parts for its service, with no longer needed for the needs of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in volume and type according to Annex No. 1 to the agreement, which is confidential.

At its extraordinary meeting held on November 21, 2023, the defense committee considered the said bill. It and the reasons for it were presented by the Deputy Minister of Defense Ivelina Dundakova, who noted that the agreement was concluded in implementation of a decision of the National Assembly of July 21, 2023 to provide additional military-technical support to Ukraine.

In the commission's report, it is specified that this decision provides for Bulgaria to provide Ukraine with armored transport equipment with its available armament, as well as spare parts for its service, with no longer needed for the needs of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as well as a commitment to the Council of Ministers to take the necessary actions to implement the decision.

The agreement was signed subject to subsequent ratification, and the Council of Ministers agreed to its temporary application from the date of its signing until its entry into force. It will enter into force from the date of promulgation of the law for its ratification by the National Assembly.

Due to the fact that it is a contract of a military-political nature, which refers to the disposal of movable property - state property, as well as in connection with the provision of Art. 5 of the agreement, it is subject to ratification on the basis of Art. 85, para. 1, items 1, 7 and 8 of the Constitution of Bulgaria.

During the debates, as expected, the opposition objected to the provision of armored transport equipment.

Borislav Gutsanov from the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) has repeatedly accused the rulers of national treason, and according to Nikolay Drenchev from "Vazrazhdane", the equipment that Bulgaria will send, "there is no way it will be unnecessary for the Bulgarian army". According to him, the machines can be used for cover along the border and instead of the uniformed sitting buried in dugouts, the APCs should serve for this.

Stoyan Taslakov ("Vazrazhdane") suggested that the machines be used in winter disasters and told how in 2018 he lived in the mountains and when snow fell, people were cut off for a week.

"What saved the day was the arrival of such an all-terrain vehicle to deliver food and medicine to those in need," he explained.

The chairman of the defense committee, Hristo Gadjev from GERB-SDS, explained that it is a question of equipment, at the disposal of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, not the Ministry of Defense (MoD).

"The Ministry of Internal Affairs has and can maintain the required number of different types of combat armored vehicles, which are for the needs of the structures of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The weapons of the Ministry of Defense are also in place," Gadjev said, adding that the APCs cannot be used for border protection and more effective will be light all-terrain vehicles.

Ivaylo Mirchev from WCC-DB noted that the equipment has been in storage for 40 years and has never been used for snow and it is a speculation that it cost a billion.

He explained that the equipment was not serious in terms of quantity and we would be financially compensated by the EU.

"We have donated equipment for several kilometers of highways, but Ukraine has bought armaments and ammunition for over BGN 5 billion," said Mirchev and added, addressing the BSP, that "Bulgaria will be independent from Russia, no matter how much you wriggle".

Gutsanov accused him of incompetence.

Defense Minister Todor Tagarev stated from the rostrum in the plenary hall that he "does not understand what this discussion is about" and for an hour and 15 minutes he did not hear a single word about the agreement that must be ratified. He refused to comment on the statements that this technique "must be buried along the border and can swim in four-meter waves".

After Tagarev's statement, the opposition sent him away with shouts of "resignation".

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Tags: Bulgaria, Ukraine, armored vehicles, aid


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