Bulgaria Seeks Funding for Transportation of Donated APCs to Ukraine

Bulgaria ratified an agreement to transfer 100 wheeled APCs with weapons and spare parts from police warehouses to Ukraine in November 2023
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 09:19 AM, January 19, 2024
  • 480
Bulgaria Seeks Funding for Transportation of Donated APCs to Ukraine
BTR-60PB-MD1 APC @Wikipedia

The Bulgarian government is actively searching for financial support to cover the transportation costs of a promised batch of wheeled Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) destined for Ukraine as part of military aid.

Todor Tagarev, the Minister of Defense, made the announcement during a meeting of the parliamentary defense committee on January 17.

Minister Tagarev disclosed that while the logistics of delivering the APCs were well underway, the critical question revolved around determining who would foot the bill for their transportation. "It is already clear who will load them and where they will go. Again, this is a very serious logistics operation," stated Tagarev.

He further emphasized that the required funds were well within Bulgaria's budget. However, the government is exploring the possibility of seeking financial assistance from allies through the "Ramstein format" before considering alternative financing options within the country or turning to parliament if necessary.

The Bulgarian Parliament had ratified an agreement on November 22, 2023, for the transfer of approximately 100 wheeled APCs, complete with existing weapons and spare parts, from the Bulgarian police warehouses to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The deal aimed to bolster Ukraine's military capabilities in the face of ongoing security challenges.

Despite initial approval, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev vetoed the agreement on December 4, arguing that lawmakers did not adequately consider alternative uses for the equipment, such as deployment by the border police or the Ministry of Internal Affairs' fire department. Nevertheless, on December 8, the Bulgarian People's Assembly voted to override the presidential veto.

The armored vehicles slated for transfer to Ukraine are of Soviet-style BTR-60PB-MD1, purchased several decades ago and stored by the Bulgarian Ministry of Internal Affairs. A joint preliminary assessment by the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Internal Affairs determined that the transfer would not compromise Bulgaria's defense capabilities.

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