News & Analysis

Bulgaria’s president vetoes F-16 deal

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev has vetoed a deal to buy eight new Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets, describing a lack of consensus over the purchase as “extremely worrying.”

The 1.256 billion US dollar deal would be the country’s biggest military purchase since the fall of communism 30 years ago.

President Radev, a former air force commander, said the disputes in parliament regarding the ratification of the deal showed that public consensus had been neither sought nor achieved.

“Because of the shortened legislative procedure, a number of important issues such as price, warranties, delivery times, penalties, indemnities, and so on, have remained unclear,” he said.

“The commitment of the Republic of Bulgaria to obligations, for years to come, without a national consensus and conviction in the mutually acceptable conditions of the treaty, is extremely worrying,” said Mr Radev in a statement.