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Уикилийкс разкрива още тайни на ЦРУ

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wikileaks_EUCH002Добър външен вид и без плащане в брой: това са някои от съветите към шпионите от ЦРУ в инструкция за преминаване на държавните граници. Секретният документ е публикуван в неделя от Уикилийкс (WikiLeaks).

Двата публикувани документа от 2011 и 2012 г., са класифицирани с кода “NOFORN”, което означава, че могат да се споделят само с разузнавателните служби на съюзнически държави, съобщи Уикилийкс.

Те са част от поредица съвети за това как да се избягват щателните проверки по летищата и граничните пунктове. Някои от тях изглеждат са очевидни, като правилото да не се купува билет в брой в деня преди полета. Другите показват здрав разум: пътникът с дипломатически паспорт да не изглежда запуснат. Трябва да се придържаш към прикритието си, гласи друг.

“Вeднъж в ранните сутрешни часове на европейско летище, служителите по сигурността избират агент на ЦРУ за подробна проверка” пише в документа. “Въпреки че агентът не е дал никакви основания, твърде неугледното облекло е било в противоречие с обичайния вид на притежател на дипломатически паспорт и може да е причина за проверката”, се описва там. Багажът на агента е бил подложен на проверка за съдържание на експлозиви. Тестът се оказа положителен. Въпреки допълнителни разпити, служителят държи на прикритието си, че се занимава с антитероризъм и успява да продължи пътуването си.

“Подходящо прикритие, правдоподобно и научено добре е важно, за да се избегнат тези подробни проверки и е задължително, за да се преодолеят”, казва ЦРУ.

В съобщението на Уикилийкс се посочва този пример с въпроса: “Ако антитерористическата дейност, която обяснява следите от експлозиви, е само прикритие, какво е правел този агент на ЦРУ на летище (на Европейския съюз) със следи от взривни вещества и защо е получил разрешение да продължи пътуването си?”.

Единият от документите показва загрижеността на ЦРУ от въвеждането на биометричния контрол за притежателите на американски паспорти, което “заплашва с осветяване” и прави по-трудно пътуването на агенти с фалшиви документи.

Разпространените в неделя документи са втора част от поредицата за ЦРУ.

“ЦРУ предприе отвличания в европейски държави, включително в Италия и Швеция, по времето на президентството на Буш. Тези указания показват, че по времето на Обама, ЦРУ все още възнамерява да прониква през границите на Европейския съюз и да провежда нелегални операции в държавите членки на ЕС”, пише Джулиан Асанж, основателят на Уикилийкс.

Уикилийкс разпространи през 2010 г. 250 хил. американски дипломатически грами и 500 хил. военни доклади класифицирани с гриф “строго секретно”. /БГНЕС и АФП/

Документите могат да бъдат намерени на адрес wikileaks.org/cia-travel/

Ето няколко интересни документа от този адрес касаещи България (запазена е пунктуацията)

WITH BULGARIAN PRESIDENT, PRIME MINISTER AND FOREIGN
MINISTER

Date:2005 March 24, 10:48 (Thursday)

(U) CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR JAMES PARDEW, FOR REASONS 1.5
(B) AND (D).

——-
SUMMARY
——-

1. (C) SUMMARY. Your visit to Sofia comes in the midst of
a highly politicized review of Bulgaria’s military
participation in Iraq. With Parliamentary elections
scheduled for June, the government has clearly decided that
an Iraq exit strategy must be announced before the campaign
season begins. We have repeatedly urged them to avoid a
specific withdrawal date and instead focus on a strategy
that links its departure with the political and security
milestones contained in UNSCR 1546. Coloring the current
Iraqi debate is the March 4 death of a Bulgarian soldier,
likely from American fire, which is still under
investigation.

2. (C) In recent months, Bulgarian officials have become
more direct in their demands for tangible benefits from
their Iraqi participation. They feel under-appreciated as
an ally and are concerned that our economic/political
relations have not kept pace with the security side.
Specifically, the Bulgarians want Iraqi reconstruction
contracts, a double-taxation treaty to help spur U.S.
investment, participation in the Visa Waiver Program,
payment of Iraqi debt and U.S. bases. They also need our
help in obtaining the release of five Bulgarian nurses
unjustly sentenced to death in Libya. Finally, the Prime
Minister desperately wants an invitation to the White House
before the elections. END SUMMARY.

———————————
BULGARIA AT A CROSSROADS ON IRAQ
———————————

3. (C) Iraq is the most important issue we face with
Bulgaria. They have contributed an infantry battalion to
the Polish-led MNF since 2003. Their fifth contingent is
still scheduled to deploy this summer, but its fate and
future contributions are uncertain. Your meetings with
Foreign Minister Passy and Prime Minister Saxe Coburg-Gotha
give you an opportunity to influence their ongoing search
for an exit strategy. With President Purvanov, you can
help ensure that the Socialist head of state does not try
to undermine whatever choice the government makes.
Purvanov is not a primary decision maker on this issue, but
his popularity and visibility give him the ability to play
the role of spoiler.

4. (C) While recognizing that the government will not
likely be deterred from announcing some kind of exit
strategy before the June elections, you can urge Bulgaria’s
leaders not to tie themselves to a specific date nor limit
their future flexibility to respond to changing
requirements in Iraq. If the Bulgarians do eventually
withdraw from the MNF, we should press for a transfer of
their troops to the NATO training mission rather than
complete withdrawal. Serving under a NATO flag in Iraq is
more attractive to many Bulgarians than serving under a
U.S. or Polish flag. If you can announce that the U.S.
military investigation into the apparent friendly-fire
death of Bulgarian Sergeant Gurdi Gardev is complete, it
will ease some of the pressure on the government and help
to put this issue behind us.

—————————-
DELIVERABLES: WHAT THEY WANT
—————————-

5. (C) The government’s list of potential deliverables
seeks to show Bulgarian voters that participation in the
Coalition has brought concrete benefits. In addition to a
White House meeting for the PM and assistance with the
Libyans, Bulgarian leaders may raise Iraqi reconstruction
contracts for Bulgarian companies, increased U.S.
investment and trade, repayment of Iraqi debt, negotiation
of a treaty on the avoidance of double taxation, and
inclusion in the Visa Waiver Program. We believe you can
announce progress on the last two topics while you are
here:

— Treaty on Avoidance of Double Taxation: U.S. Treasury
has agreed to initiate technical discussions in April on a
Treaty for the Avoidance of Double Taxation. If, as

expected, these discussions go well, the USG could announce
the start of formal negotiations before the Bulgarian
elections. This is a high-priority item for both the
Bulgarian government and U.S. businesses in Bulgaria.

— Visa Waiver Program: Bulgarians at all levels chafe at
our visa requirements. Passy has on several occasions
asked to be included in the VWP when Bulgaria joins the EU
in 2007. However, Bulgaria’s current B1/B2 visa refusal
rate of about 30 percent must fall below three percent in
order to qualify. Bulgaria has formally requested to be
part of the visa waiver “road map”. We are awaiting
Department guidance, but post is prepared to organize a
consular working group with the Bulgarians immediately.

6. (C) Other issues the Bulgarians are likely to raise
include:

— White House Meeting: The Prime Minister needs this
perhaps as much as anything on his list to demonstrate that
Bulgaria is a close and valued ally of the U.S. Purvanov
has also requested a White House meeting, but we do not
recommend this take place until after the June elections.

— Killing of Sgt. Gardev: Initial indications are that a
Bulgarian soldier was accidentally shot by U.S. forces in
Iraq on March 4. We have expressed condolences and said
that we are waiting for the results of the U.S. military
investigation. If the results show that U.S. forces were
indeed responsible, the Bulgarians expect a formal apology.
The family has called for compensation.

— Freedom for the Bulgarian nurses in Libya: This is an
issue that touches ordinary Bulgarians in the way that our
Iranian hostages affected Americans. There is no issue
where the U.S. could potentially gain more goodwill from
Bulgarians across the political spectrum. With the March
18 U.S./Bulgaria/EU trilat in Washington, we have taken the
diplomatic lead on this issue and deserve credit.

— Iraq reconstruction contracts: Current Iraq-related
military purchases from Bulgaria are approximately $10
million, mostly small arms and ammunition for the Iraqi
security forces. The Bulgarians still seek a sizeable
contract for both the economic and political benefits.
U.S. support for Bulgarian economic involvement in Iraq
includes a contracting methodology seminar scheduled for
mid-April and an Iraqi trade mission to Sofia scheduled for
late May. The latter will bring to Sofia Iraqi government
officials and almost 100 Bulgarian businesses from
infrastructure, defense, health and finance sectors.

— Increased trade and investment: Major U.S. investors in
Bulgaria include American Standard (kitchen and bathroom
products) and Advent — which bought the state telecom BTK
last year. The energy company AES recently won the right
to build an electrical plant. Despite these and other
investments, the U.S. remains only the sixth largest source
of investment in Bulgaria ($532 million).

— Iraqi debt: As a percentage of GDP, Bulgaria claims to
hold more Iraqi debt than any country in the world Q- USD
1.2 billion — much of it accumulated from arms sales
during the Iran-Iraq war. Bulgaria is not a member of the
Paris Club and has not formally accepted the principle of
80 percent debt reduction.

— Basing of U.S. Forces: As part of the global
repositioning of U.S. forces, the U.S. European Command is
interested in setting up a forward operating location in
Bulgaria. There have been some 30 visits to Bulgaria by
USG officials to discuss the issue, but the government of
Bulgaria is awaiting a formal USG decision.

————-
PROBLEM AREAS
————-

7. (C) Despite its strong economic track record, the
government has been much less successful in curbing
corruption and organized crime, which are both endemic
here. If there is a shortcoming that could hamper
Bulgaria’s political and economic development, this is it.
Much greater political will is necessary to strengthen the
rule of law generally and the judicial system in
particular.

8. (C) Protection of intellectual property rights is a
serious concern, and the Bulgarian IPR regime does not
properly protect U.S. rights holders. The USG has also
been negotiating with Bulgaria to drop their tariff rates
for U.S. products. Some, for U.S. distilled spirits, are
much higher than the rate for similar EU-produced goods.
The USG is currently reviewing whether to withdraw some of
Bulgaria’s GSP benefits on targeted products.

—————-
DOMESTIC CONTEXT
—————-

9. (U) Membership in the European Union is Bulgaria’s top
foreign policy goal. The Prime Minister is scheduled to
sign the EU Accession Treaty on April 25. Bulgaria should
join the EU with Romania on January 1, 2007. The macro-
economic situation is strong, giving the current government
an economic record that most politicians would be glad to
run on. Annual GDP growth for 2004 is projected at 5.8
percent, and for 2005 is estimated at between 5 and 5.5
percent (total estimated 2005 GDP is $27.5 billion).
Inflation is moderate at 4 percent for 2004, and
unemployment dropped from over 20 percent four years ago to
12.7 percent in 2004.

10. (U) The current government is also widely recognized as
having markedly improved Bulgaria’s fiscal situation,
turning chronic budget deficits into small surpluses. FDI
for 2004 was $2.6 billion (10 percent of GDP), and all but
one credit agency has rated Bulgarian debt at above
investment grade. Progress is evident everywhere, but
Bulgaria is starting from a low base: average per capita
income is only 29 percent of the EU-25 in terms of
purchasing power parity. Other areas of concern are the
large current account deficit (7.5 percent for 2004) and
rapidly increasing credit growth (currently 50 percent).

11. (C) The Socialists are leading in the polls and have
made Bulgaria’s withdrawal from Iraq a major campaign
theme. The most recent opinion poll shows that roughly
two-thirds of the Bulgarian population favors withdrawal
from Iraq either immediately or right after the June
elections. This, combined with the killing of another
Bulgarian soldier on March 4, has put the government on the
defensive exactly three months before the elections. While
a Socialist victory would not be a disaster for us, it
would make protecting a wide range of U.S. interests more
difficult. All the more reason, in our view, to invite
Simeon to the White House.

—————–
The Personalities
—————–

12. (C) While the Prime Minister’s approval ratings have
edged up in recent months he is generally perceived as
enigmatic and aloof. He often appears indecisive, but his
hands-off management style seems to serve him well
politically; polls show that many Bulgarians do not blame
him for the government’s mistakes and support a second
mandate. The President, formerly head of the Socialist
Party, is Bulgaria’s most polished senior politician. He
has used his position to strike a balance between
Bulgaria’s responsibility to the Coalition and the
Socialists’ opposition to the widely unpopular deployment
of Bulgarian troops in Iraq. He has also expanded his
rather restricted authorities into the power vacuum created
by the Prime Minister. Passy is the most strongly and
consistently pro-American voice in the government, but he
is currently fighting an uphill battle on Iraq.

Baghdad minimise considered.

===============-========================

1. (C) Summary. Foreign Minister Kalfin told Amb. Beyrle
September 28 that Bulgaria intends to have selected a
follow-on mission in Iraq prior to the October 17
Bush-Purvanov meeting in Washington. He said that Bulgaria
wishes to focus on the draft Defense Cooperation Agreement
during next week’s negotiations with Amb. Loftis in Sofia.
Kalfin also previewed President Purvanov’s agenda for his
meeting with President Bush and updated us on his planned
meeting with Qadhafi’s son next week in Paris to discuss the
Bulgarian medics. End Summary.

FOLLOW-ON MISSION IN IRAQ
————————-

2. (C) Following up on the Iraq Contact Team visit to Sofia
last week, Kalfin reiterated Bulgaria’s intention to remain
involved in Iraq, but noted, “it should be in a form that can
get political support,” stressing “we cannot continue the
current type of mission.” He recognizes the value to Iraq’s
stability of having the Bulgarian contingent remain through
the October referendum and the December elections. He was
disappointed that the MOD did not ask more questions about
the mission at Camp Ashraf during talks last week, but
indicated that training Iraqi security forces headquarters
units is “a good option.” Kalfin said that the GOB is also
considering other options, like medical and engineering
units, that were not part of the U.S. contact team’s briefing.

3. (C) Kalfin explained that the Bulgarian interagency group
that participated in last week’s discussions would send a
report to the Council of Ministers by September 30 with
recommended options. Reiterating a deadline that President
Purvanov had described earlier to the Ambassador, he said,
“We want to have a decision made” prior to the Bush-Purvanov
meeting. Kalfin said he would like to get political backing
for a follow-on mission from the Parliament through either a
resolution or a committee decision.

JOINT MILITARY FACILITIES
————————-

4. (C) Kalfin told Ambassador that the MFA will take the lead
in next week’s negotiations on joint military facilities, and
Lubomir Ivanov, Bulgaria’s ambassador to NATO, will lead the
Bulgarian delegation. This is a change from the previous
negotiating session, which was led by former Deputy Minister
of Defense Ilko Dimitrov. Kalfin suggested that negotiations
focus on the Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA) instead of
the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). (Note: The MFA has
since agreed to focus on the SOFA as planned). Kalfin agreed
with Ambassador’s suggestions to hold a joint Loftis-Ivanov
press conference in Sofia and have Ambassador Loftis brief
senior members of the Parliament’s foreign affairs and
defense committees. Ambassador and Kalfin agreed that these
outreach efforts could help counteract misinformation that
has recently appeared in the Bulgarian press.

PURVANOV’S WHITE HOUSE VISIT
—————————-

5. (C) Kalfin said that Purvanov’s agenda for his meeting
with President Bush will include: Iraq, joint military
facilities, trade and investment, the double taxation treaty,
the Bulgarian medics in Libya, and the visa waiver program.
Kalfin promised to coordinate in advance with Post on the
Bush-Purvanov agenda.

BULGARIAN MEDICS IN LIBYA
————————-

6. (C) Kalfin thanked Ambassador for U.S. assistance and
stressed the strength of U.S. influence with Libya.
Ambassador assured Kalfin that the U.S. is ready to help push
any agreement with Libya, but stressed that Bulgaria and
Libya must work out the details in advance through bilateral
discussions. Ambassador informed Kalfin that Secretary of
State Rice would not be visiting Libya as had been
erroneously reported here. Kalfin said that he plans to meet
Qadhafi’s son in Paris next week to “finalize communication
channels with Libya” and then make a proposal based, in part,
on USG recommendations. Minister Kalfin said that he would
keep Post fully informed.

COMMENT

——-

7. (C) Kalfin understands the importance of Bulgaria’s
follow-on mission and the deadline for decision imposed by
the White House visit. His comments indicate a preference
for a training mission, even if it puts Bulgarian soldiers at
greater risk. We will continue to try and provide additional
information to the Bulgarians regarding follow-on missions as
requested.
BEYRLE
=======================================-=========
Ref: Sofia 1868

1. Summary: As noted reftel, we are seeing growing numbers
of following-to-join (Visas 92) Immigrant Visa cases where
it is obvious the original successful asylum seekers based
their claims on fraud, lies, forged documents and false
pretenses. On November 14 alone we received five such
cases. We are still in the process of investigating these,
but we report on other worrisome examples below. We will
continue to provide background on Visas 92 cases that fit
the identified fraud pattern, and we are grateful to USCIS
officials and consular officers for their interest in and
responses to our first report. We look forward to fruitful
future cooperation on this front. End Summary.

2. Evidence abounds here that creating phony documents to
bolster asylum claims made by Bulgarians in the U.S. is now
a booming industry. As some West European countries
(Belgium, for instance) have decided to deny political
asylum to Bulgarian citizens in light of Bulgaria’s expected
accession to the European Union, and others (like Norway)
simply deport in summary fashion the hundreds of Bulgarians
who apply for asylum, the United States has become the main
target for prospective Bulgarian asylum seekers. Word is
out that if they go to the U.S. and apply for asylum
claiming they are Roma, they will easily be granted legal
status. We have heard of immigration attorneys in the U.S.
who explicitly give such advice to their clients.

——————————————— ——-
ATTORNEY TELLS BULGARIAN CITIZEN TO CLAIM HE IS ROMA
——————————————— ——-

3. A few months ago we interviewed Veselin Dragomirov
Dimitranov (DPOB 21 MAR 1961, Bulgaria, A No. A75 709 982)
in connection with his application for a CR-1 immigrant visa
as husband of an American citizen. In the course of the
interview we learned that he had applied for political
asylum in the U.S. as a Macedonian. He was denied and
ordered removed. He told us he had been advised by his
attorney to claim Roma ethnicity in order to gain asylum,
because that was easy and claiming asylum as a Macedonian
would likely not work. Dimitranov explained he found such a
lie exceedingly distasteful — it was simply “beyond him” —
and preferred instead to file as a Macedonian, his father’s
nationality. He signed the following statement (grammar not
changed): “Since October 1999 we have discussed with my
lawyer Mr. Peter Ashman do I have a good reason to stay
legally in U.S. He told me there is an easy way to stay in
U.S. if I want to declare that I am a gypsy from Bulgaria.”
In addition to his own statement that he is not Roma,
Dimitranov’s appearance and speech would lead any even semi-
informed observer to that conclusion. Yet he very well
might have obtained asylum had he followed his lawyer’s
advice. There are no doubt increasing numbers of Bulgarians
here and (illegally) stateside who have come to learn the
“Roma card” can make a winning hand for a green card, and we
know there are unscrupulous attorneys encouraging them to
play it.

———————————–
FATHER AND SON DISAGREE ON POLITICS
———————————–

4. Milka Pavlevska applied for her Visa 92 status here in
November, 2004. The I-730 Petition was filed by her husband
Slavtcho Tsvetanov Pavlevski (DPOB 27 JAN 1949, Bulgaria, A
No. A95 306 523). Pavlevski had been granted political
asylum based on his supposedly well-grounded fear of
persecution as an ethnic Roma in Bulgaria. On his asylum
application Form I-589 he stated: “I and all my family are
ethnic Roma from the Kardarashi group. I am a member of the
Roma organization United Roma. My son is still an active
member of the same organization.” His statement contains a
long and heartrending history of arrests and abuse. In the
course of the follow-to-join interview, though, Mrs.
Pavlevska categorically denied that she is Roma. We got in
touch with Pavlevski’s son following the interview with Mrs.
Pavlevska, again to investigate the true character of the
petitioner’s asylum claim. Unsurprisingly, fundamental
discrepancies popped up which revealed the petitioner’s
patent phoniness. Pavlevski’s son claimed that he and his
father were members of Euroroma — a different Roma
political party than the one shown on the asylum
application. However, the son did not know any members of
this organization. He stated that he is not Roma, does not
speak the Roma language, and has never had any problems at
school or at his job. He told the officer that criminals
had once tried to get his family to pay protection money,
but this all-too-common petty extortion had nothing to do
with politics or ethnicity.
————————-
PERSECUTED BLUE-EYED ROMA
————————-

5. Bulgarians of Roma descent are usually readily
identified by their dark complexion and specific accent.
However, when a blue-eyed Caucasian person who does not
speak the Roma language and has no knowledge of Roma culture
or customs applies for Visa 92 status insisting she and
members of her family have been persecuted because of their
Roma ethnicity, an officer can be forgiven for becoming
skeptical. Such was the case when Sofia Dimitrova Morfova
and her two children were interviewed in connection with
their Visa 92 application. Her husband Delyan Vladislavov
Morfov (DPOB 05 OCT 1974, Bulgaria, A No. A96-219-164) had
been one of the “Romas” granted political asylum in the U.S.
Mrs. Morfova signed a sworn statement utterly refuting the
asylum claims of her husband.

6. Morfov had sought political asylum based on race,
political opinion, membership in a particular group, and the
Anti-Torture Convention. He stated that he was a member of
a Roma Organization which advocates for equal treatment of
Romas in Bulgaria. His wife, while explaining — more than
a little surprisingly, considering the alleged circumstances
— that she is not aware of her husband’s political
leanings, said her husband never spoke of any mistreatment
and never bore any visible signs of physical abuse. Morfov
had written on his asylum application: “My family and I have
been persecuted on account of our Roma ethnicity by
Bulgarian police, citizens and members of Skin Head
Organizations. Throughout my life, my family and I have
been the victims of persecution at the hands of members of
Bulgarian society.” His wife, though, told us that her
husband’s “mother, father and brother Yavor have never been
beaten up or arrested by the police and they have never been
maltreated or persecuted by other persons or by skinhead
groups. Neither I nor our children have ever been beaten
up, arrested or detained by the police, nor have we been
beaten up or persecuted by other persons or organizations.”

7. As proof of persecution, Morfov had presented a medical
certificate issued on October 18, 2002, shortly before he
departed Bulgaria to the United States. The medical
certificate says he had been severely beaten in a
discotheque, suffering injuries to the thorax, abdomen and
head. His wife had no recollection of this alleged
harrowing incident. We checked with the director of the
hospital which supposedly issued the medical certificate,
and he told us there was no record of Morfov ever having
been treated there. The ID number of the certificate Morfov
presented is in fact associated with the record of a
different patient.

8. Morfov’s lack of credibility is aptly demonstrated by a
quick review of his several previous NIV applications (all
refusals). He declared in these, variously, that he was
both the manager of a company “Morfi 3” in the city of
Burgas and the Marketing Manager of Cafe Club Havana, also
in Burgas. In his asylum declarations he also claimed he
was the Cafe Club Havana Manager/Owner and that between 9/94
and 1/02 he worked in construction or as a janitor. His
wife stated that since the date of their marriage (11/21/98)
until his departure to the U.S. her husband worked as a
bartender at the Club Havana Caf, and that he has never had
a company registered in his name nor was he the owner of a
company. In the course of one NIV interview (on 12/29/02)
Morfov had tried to convince the consular officer that he
was going to the U.S. to participate in a chess tournament.
His wife revealed that he is not a chess player and has
never participated in any chess tournaments.

9. Morfov swore on his I-589 that he resided in the Roma
ghetto of the village of Rosen. A check by post’s Fraud
Prevention Unit with the local authorities confirmed our
suspicion that Morfov had in fact never lived in that
village, and was unknown there. Mrs. Morfova does not speak
the Roma language, though she said her husband speaks some
Roma. While it is possible that Mr. Morfov is acquainted
with several stock Roma phrases, a follow-on interview in
Roma would almost certainly demonstrate that he does not
actually know the language. His parents are supposedly
Roma, but when we called his father it quickly became clear
that the father does not speak or understand Roma.

—————————
WHEN A POMAK IS NOT A POMAK
—————————
10. Petya Vasileva Kaneva, nee Baneva (DPOB 20 MAY 1970,
Bulgarira, Alien No. A97 586 545), was granted political
asylum on the basis of her claim to be a gypsy of the
“Pomak” persuasion (Bulgarian Muslim). She alleged that she
was discriminated against and humiliated by Bulgarian
society. In her written statement for her asylum case, she
said that her father had belonged to a minority of Muslim
Bulgarian gypsies and had died before she was born. She
explained that she grew up with her mother’s family, also
Muslim Roma, in the village of Konare, and had a child. The
child’s father, she claimed, had deserted her, and she had
to move to a different town because of the constant
discrimination and ostracizing in her mother’s village. She
said she was raped and beaten by four policemen in her new
village and hospitalized for days as a result.

11. Baneva’s mother accompanied her grandson to his V-92
follow-to-join interview. We asked her very simple
questions in order to verify the credibility of her
daughter’s statements. The discrepancies between the two
stories turned out to be — familiarly — enormous.
Baneva’s mother said her daughter left her home village of
Konare with the rest of the family at the age of 13 and has
not lived there since. Baneva’s mother was married in 1965
and together with her husband she raised their two children.
Her husband died in 1999. The family is Bulgarian and all
their relatives are ethnically Bulgarian and Christians.
According to Baneva’s mother, Baneva lived with her parents
until 1992 when she got married. She was married for 6
years, and her mother categorically stated there were no
arrests, detentions, or problems with the police for Baneva
in Bulgaria, nor had Baneva ever been hospitalized for any
reason.

12. Conclusion: The cases described above provide more
evidence of the increasingly strong and significant trend of
false asylum claims by Bulgarians in the U.S. The
Bulgarians misrepresent themselves as members of the Roma
community, and fabricate stories of long-standing abuse and
maltreatment. They posit facts and present documents which
we might quickly be able to prove false if we were notified
while the asylum applications were still pending. Continued
close cooperation between USCIS and Post in investigating
pending cases could be expected not only to prevent granting
asylum to phony claimants, but to generally slow a dangerous
fraud trend and weaken the widespread impression that any
Bulgarian seeking a surefire scheme for U.S. permanent
residency need look no further than “the Roma con.”

Beyrle
=================-====================================

Classified By: Ambassador John Beyrle for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (C) SUMMARY AND ACTION REQUEST: New Interior Minister
Mihail Mikov discussed his plans for reform and made specific
requests for assistance to Ambassador Beyrle on May 12, their
first meeting since Mikov took office. The Ambassador noted
one or two U.S. experts would arrive in Sofia before the end
of the month to consult with him and other senior leaders on
the concept and structure of a reformed ministry. He also
affirmed U.S. willingness to help as much as possible in
reform efforts. In stark contrast to his predecessor, Roumen
Petkov, Mikov appeared sincere and energized on the subject
of reform. We should take advantage of this opportunity to
help Mikov bring about real reform in his ministry that could
in turn bring positive change in other executive bodies. The
Ambassador also discussed the Visa Waiver Program and
unblocking the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and Second
Line of Defense (SLD) agreements. END SUMMARY.

———-
MOI REFORM
———-

2. (C) Mikov opened by saying it was a tough decision to
take on the job but that he was getting more enthusiastic the
more he worked. It would be a challenge to accomplish a lot
in the small amount of time remaining before the next
elections (NB: they must be held no later than June 2009).
He described changes he would make in the senior leadership,
including possibly dividing the Secretary General’s duties
among deputies to reduce the concentration of power, and also
to bring in different points of view. Stressing that PM
Stanishev supports moving on new legislation very quickly,
Mikov predicted all legislative procedures would be completed
by late June – early July. The old legislation describes all
ministry administrative functions and positions in detail.
He was contemplating more streamlined legislative language,
leaving details to the executive to allow more structural and
operational flexibility. The MOI is working on its internal
changes so that they can be implemented as soon as the
legislation passes.

3. (C) Ambassador Beyrle congratulated Mikov on his
appointment noting his intelligence and integrity, with
integrity being the most important quality for reform. The
U.S. needs a strong Bulgaria and is ready to assist in
creating a concept and structure for an effective, modern
ministry of interior. He said one or two experts from the
U.S. would arrive before the end of the month to work with
the Minister and other senior officials on reform, similar to
the way U.S. experts worked on the creation of DANS. Noting
the importance of mutual trust and confidence, the Ambassador
encouraged the closest possible collaborative law enforcement
relations between DANS and MOI and between the Prosecutor
General and MOI. He urged Mikov to demonstrate concrete
success in the next 2-3 months — criminals going to jail as
opposed to presenting lists of bureaucratic achievements —
or the public would believe there was no real change.

4. (C) Mikov requested U.S. assistance in a number of
specific areas:

— GDBOP (General Directorate for Combating Organized Crime):
Mikov said GDBOP needs restructure, reform, and changes in
its interaction with the regular police. It also needs to
standardize procedures, enhance internal controls, and
changes in legislation to allow faster disciplinary
procedures and to transfer officers when there is suspicion
of corruption but not enough evidence to prosecute a case.

— Directorate of Intelligence, Directorate of Technical
Intelligence (DOI,DOTI): Mikov is considering taking the two
units that collect raw intelligence and putting them together
in another ministry or separate entity. He is leaning
towards keeping them in MOI. The Ambassador suggested Mikov
raise it with the U.S. experts.

— Personnel: Setting a new standards and safeguards. “Here
we require support from the U.S. and UK.” Mikov is
especially interested in ethics, internal disciplinary

mechanisms (other than dismissal), and administrative
oversight, and external/internal checks and balances.

— World Bank audit: Mikov believes a WB audit can assist in
making MOI financing, budgeting, and internal cost controls
stronger, more flexible and more responsive. He wants to be
ready to
start next year.

— EU Monitoring Report: Mikov welcomed suggestions from the
U.S. and EU on dealing with problems identified in the
report.

— Cooperation with other structures: Revenue, Customs, DANS:
Mikov has already talked with the other bodies about better
cooperation and coordination. He wants advice on the best
application of the separate executive powers so that law
enforcement tools can be effectively brought to bear when
criminal activities cross intra-governmental bodies charged
with enforcing legislation (and where multiple agencies may
have jurisdiction, competency, or authority to act).

————
OTHER ISSUES
————

5. (C) Moving on from reform issues, the Ambassador told
Mikov the duty free shops at Bulgaria,s land borders with
non-EU states should be shut down now as the government said
it would do. Duty free gas
stations are in violation of EU regulations and need to close
immediately. The GOB is “playing with fire” with regard to
EU sanctions if it appears that organized criminals are
telling the government what to do on duty fee shops. The
Ambassador also brought up the Weapons of Mass Destruction
(WMD) and Second Line of Defense (SLD) agreements. Months of
negotiations were now stuck on one sentence on liability for
accidents. Mikov said he would look into it. On the Visa
Waiver Agreement, the Ambassador said this week we would
share the draft interim agreement with the GOB. The interim
agreement will show the public both governments are working
toward agreement.

——-
COMMENT
——-

6. (C) Mikov has grasped the enormity of his reform task
and wants all the help we can give. Our response should be
direct: a small, one-two person U.S. team focused on
executive level, legislatively-primed changes we would
recommend; it should come within the one or two weeks for one
or two days on intense consultations; it should offer
suggestions on U.S. and European models the Bulgarians can
mine on the specific points Mikov raised above; and it should
help the Bulgarians aim at the principles, architecture, and
procedures they can usefully establish for a revamped MOI.
Mikov would welcome a U.S. executive vision and operational
guidelines. The Bulgarians are moving ahead quickly on a
legislative draft; we need to influence that process now.

Beyrle

=======================================

CODEL BORDALLO DISCUSSES DEFENSE COOPERATION, F-16S, VISA WAIVER
Date:2008 August 15, 12:30 (Friday)

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: CODEL Bordallo visited Bulgaria from August
5-8, at the invitation of Parliament Foreign Relations Committee
Chairman Solomon Passy, to tour the Novo Selo Training Area and meet
with senior Bulgarian officials and parliamentarians. The CODEL
expressed satisfaction with the Novo Selo facilities and the level
of cooperation with the Bulgarian military, as well as with joint
humanitarian assistance projects in the neighboring villages. In
meetings with senior officials the CODEL discussed U.S.-Bulgarian
relations and security cooperation, and expressed appreciation for
Bulgaria’s contributions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Defense Minister
Tsonev and other senior Bulgarians officials requested the CODEL’s
assistance in obtaining F-16s and procuring military communications
systems, as well as consultations on running a professional
military. Delegation members said they would pass the requests to
Washington, noting that procurements had to go through proper
channels. The Bulgarians also showed keen interest in the Visa
Waiver Program. Rep. Joe Wilson said he was working closely with
the Bulgarian Embassy to organize events in Washington to
commemorate the 100th anniversary of Bulgarian independence and the
105th anniversary of U.S.-Bulgarian diplomatic relations. While in
Burgas, Rep. Bordallo discussed establishing a sister city
relationship with the Burgas city manager. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) Del. Madeline Bordallo (Guam) headed a delegation to
Bulgaria on behalf of the House Armed Services Committee from August
5-8. The delegation also included Rep. Loretta Sanchez (Califoria)
and Rep. Joe Wilson (South Carolina); HSAC Professional Staff
Members Thomas Hawley and David Sienicki; and Congressional
Legislative Liaison Officer Terry Laughlin. On August 6 in Pomoria
on the Black Sea coast, the CODEL met with Bulgaria’s Defense
Minister Tsonev and President Parvanov’s Chief of Staff General
Kolev, and participated in opening ceremonies for the Bulgarian
Atlantic Club’s Defense Utilization Conference. Also on August 6,
they visited the Novo Selo Training Area (NSTA), toured the
Temporary Forward Operating Site (TFOS), met with U.S. and Bulgarian
soldiers living at the bases, and visited a kindergarten that had
been refurbished by the U.S. military. The delegation on August 7
met Prime Minister Stanishev; Deputy Foreign Minister Keremedzhiev;
Speaker of Parliament Pirinski, Chairman of Parliamentary Defense
Committee Naidenov, Chairman on the Committee on Foreign Relations
Passy, and U.S.-Bulgaria Caucus co-chair Kirchev.

Military Modernization and Deployments
—————————————
3. (SBU) The CODEL’s main focus was to observe the working
relationship between U.S. and Bulgarian defense forces at joint
training facilities. USAREUR briefed extensively at Novo Selo on
current and planned construction as well as on this summer’s
exercises. Both CODEL and Bulgarian officials expressed great
satisfaction with ever-improving U.S.-Bulgarian relations and our
strong partnership in the war on terrorism. Deputy FM Keremedzhiev
stated that Bulgaria has been a sustainable partner on terror and
that “U.S. concerns are Bulgaria’s concerns.” Members of Parliament
noted that Bulgaria has kept defense spending above 2% and had
increased its deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, straining its
capacity, especially as Bulgaria is still in a process of transition
and transformation and faces substantive economic and social
challenges. They also underscored a deep sense in Parliament for a
full-fledged commitment to the fight against terror.

4. (SBU) Bulgarian officials noted that their country’s geographic
location was strategically important, particularly given continuing
insecurity in the region. Defense Minister Tsonev, the President’s
chief of cabinet General Kolev and Speaker Pirinsky engaged the
CODEL on the possibility of obtaining low or no cost F-16’s to
upgrade its aging combat air force fleet and meet national and NATO
requirements. Minister Tsonev stressed the importance Bulgaria
attaches to a close strategic partnership with the U.S. that F-16’s
would further cement. PM Stanishev, Speaker Pirinsky and DefMin
Tsonev each highlighted Bulgaria’s tender for the C4 communications
project, noting several U.S. firms are in the hunt. MPs stressed
that Bulagria is open to additional consultations with the U.S. on
strategies for recruiting and retaining soldiers in a professional
military (Bulgaria recently did away with mandatory conscription).
CODEL members underscored the U.S. commitment to see Bulgaria’s
military fully equipped and fully able to perform its duties. And
they stressed the importance of training, and establishing a firm
planning, logistics, support, and maintenance program for high
performance aircraft. The delegation assured the Bulgarians that
they would take their requests back to Washington, encouraging them
to think more about how the U.S. can help Bulgaria build a world
class group of soldiers through training assistance. The CODEL
expressed great satisfaction with the temporary facilities and
joint-training exercises at the NSTA and TFOS. They were also
pleased with humanitarian assistance projects extended by Bulgarian
and U.S. troops, who had assisted with a local kindergarten and home
for the elderly.

Visa Waiver
————

5. (SBU) The Prime Minister emphasized the importance all citizens
attach to Bulgaria’s qualification for the visa waiver program, a
sentiment echoed by other Bulgaria officials. CODEL members noted
that certain standards had to be met, including a 10 percent visa
refusal rate and the introduction of biometric passports.
Representative Sanchez stated that within Congress there is
sentiment to re-examine the whole issue of whether to have a visa
waiver program. Though this would have huge international
repercussions, it is still a highly emotional issue at home. The PM
cited Bulgaria’s commitment to pull closer to the trans-Atlantic
community and meet U.S. legislative requirements for visa waiver.
Rep. Sanchez noted the 2009 deadline for DHS to meet certain
requirements; if countries were not yet qualified, they would
encounter an indefinite pause in the program. The Charge noted that
Bulgaria’s refusal rate is still above the 10 percent threshold and
that time is running out for Bulgaria to produce biometric
passports. PM Stanishev stressed he has tasked the Interior
ministry to move as quickly as possible. FAC Chairman Passy told
the delegation he has pushed for a working group and action plan so
that Bulgaria qualifies for the program.

A Strengthening Bilateral Partnership
————————————-
6. (SBU) The CODEL and Bulgarian officials also discussed
initiatives to celebrate Bulgarian-American relations, tourism, and
recommendations for NATO expansion. Rep. Joe Wilson noted his
collaboration with Ambassador Poptodorova to bring a Resolution
before Congress recognizing the 100th anniversary of Bulgaria’s
independence. He is continuing to work closely with the Bulgarian
Embassy to orchestrate events to commemorate the 105th anniversary
of U.S.-Bulgarian diplomatic relations. The CODEL congratulated
Bulgaria on its marked improvements in the tourism sector. The Prime
Minister briefed on Bulgaria’s economic performance and success in
attracting foreign investment, stressing that Bulgaria needed to
redouble its efforts in an ever more competitive international
environment. He highlighted the growing military, security, and
economic partnership with the U.S., and cited his excellent meetings
with the President and Secretary Rice earlier this summer. Del.
Bordallo discussed her interest in trying to develop a sister city
relationship between Guam and Burgas. On NATO membership, General
Kolev expressed disappointment that Macedonia was not invited to
join NATO, but in response to questions on Ukraine thought it was
“not ready.” Deputy Foreign Minister Keremedzhiev endorsed
Georgia’s bid to enter NATO. He emphasized that bilateral relations
are stronger than ever and thanked the Congress for its support for
Bulgaria’s trans-Atlantic course.

7. (SBU) In sidebar meetings with MPs, the CODEL exchanged views on
Bulgaria’s domestic political situation, energy diversity and
security (with MPs splitting along partisan lines), relations with
Russia, and on Bulgaria’s response to the critical EU report on
crime and corruption.

8. (SBU) CODEL Bordallo reviewed this cable.

MCELDOWNEY

==========================-==========================

BULGARIA AND RUSSIA: NEXT STEPS
Date:2008 September 8, 11:36 (Monday)

1. (S) The crisis in Georgia has begun to rouse the normally
reticent Bulgarian mindset and prompted some to question
whether Russia’s ultimate objectives will prove intolerable.
Like many of our European partners, the Bulgarians will shy
away from taking on Moscow in a direct or public manner, but
they may prove willing to take additional practical steps to
help shape an increasingly strained relationship between
Russia and Europe. Our joint military facilities here offer
one avenue worth exploring; another is enhanced collaboration
and coordinated action on energy. We should also consider
whether Bulgaria can play a more effective role in the
reconstruction of the Georgian economy and the rebuilding of
its military.

2. (S) Bulgaria’s ties to Russia run broad and deep, NATO
and EU membership notwithstanding. Energy dependence,
cultural proximity, and historical links have all contributed
to a generalized sense of affinity with Russia. That,
combined with the small state syndrome, has traditionally led
many Bulgarians to conclude that the best way to deal with
Moscow was to give in when pressed and otherwise stay out of
the way.

3. (S) It is possible that Georgia may be changing this
equation, at least for some. Putin’s blatant effort at
regime change in Tbilisi, apparent meddling in Ukraine, and
increasing rhetoric about restoring empirical reach
throughout the former Soviet space have all come together in
a poisonous cocktail. And, while the Bulgarians are clearly
not ready to break the glass, they are increasingly reluctant
to drink.

4. (S) Bulgaria previously supported our bid to offer
NATO’s Membership Action Plan to Georgia and Ukraine because
they judged it would enhance Bulgaria’s security. That same
calculation is now at work in reverse — if those Black Sea
neighbors are destabilized that will accrue to Bulgaria’s
significant disadvantage. The government will strongly pitch
MAP for Georgia in December’s NATO meetings. While it also
gives rhetorical support to MAP for Ukraine, the Bulgarians
fear that Ukraine is already besieged by disintegrative
forces.

5. (S) Without assuming dramatic departures, and allowing
for a significant dose of double gaming (whereby many allies
have offered Moscow private assurances) there may be some
additional constructive steps that Bulgaria can and will
take. PM Stanishev will see Putin in Sochi September 18-19
(though Medvedev had issued the invite months ago, Putin has
now taken it over). Originally designed to discuss a brace
of bilateral issues, Georgia and energy are now at the top of
Stanishev’s agenda. We can help shape his strategic
thinking. Some things to keep in mind:

6. (S) First, JTF-E: We currently have a major,
long-planned exercise under way with US-Bulgarian forces. By
the end of September, we will have almost 1000 U.S. soldiers
and 100 Bulgarians engaged in land maneuvers and 250 US
airmen along with a dozen F-16s conducting air ops. The fact
that this was previously scheduled will be lost on those who
choose to interpret it through the prism of Georgia. The PM
did not blink when this was discussed. We should also bear
in mind that additional troop rotations are possible. Under
the Defense Cooperation Agreement, we can have up to 2,500
troops in country at any given time for exercises, and
allowing for a two month overlap of rotations, up to 5,000.
Though we would have to work this very carefully here, it is
not out of the realm of the possible.

7. (S) Second, energy: Whether we like it or not, the
perception here is that the Russians hold all the cards. The
Bulgarians have implored us to consult more closely and to
identify more options for feasible joint action. Simply
saying no to South Stream or reducing the issue to a black
and white contest between Nabucco and South Stream is a
losing proposition. In the absence of a coherent EU policy,
the mad scramble to cut separate deals is precisely what
Moscow wanted. Bulgaria has proposed to host a spring energy
summit for producers, transit countries and end users and has
asked us to help shape the agenda. We should quickly take up
this Bulgarian request for closer coordination — and the
summit itself — to further our energy policy goals,
including securing additional supply capacity from
Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Iraq, and elsewhere. Boyden Gray’s
October 16 visit will be instrumental before President
Parvanov hits the road in November for an energy tour of
Central Asia.

8. (S) Third, economic reconstruction: The Bulgarians will
not pony up money; they have little to give. But Bulgarian

SOFIA 00000600 002 OF 002

ports (Varna and Burgas) have regular ferry service to
Georgia and can be the jumping off points for any EU bulk
trade and for communications nodes. Liberalizing EU customs
and tax regimes with Georgia, building new communications
links, air services, and visa regimes are all EU decisions,
but Bulgaria is the closest EU state to Georgia and would be
a natural launch pad for such initiatives as it would stand
to gain the most.

9. (S) Fourth, rebuilding Georgia’s military: Bulgaria was
one of Georgia’s largest arms suppliers. We don’t expect any
quick resumption, but the issue is not off the table. In the
shorter term, Bulgaria could host Georgian officers at its
military academy, embed small numbers (say a platoon) in
joint exercises with US forces here, and act as a NATO
mentor. Like JTF-E, these would require extremely careful
handling, with a focus on reasonable and realistic outcomes
(avoiding inflationary rhetoric or posturing from the
Georgians).

10. (S) Bulgaria will not take the lead now or in the near
future. But they are increasingly uncomfortable about the
future and are open to our practical advice about how best to
channel Moscow away from nationalist revanchism while helping
pull Georgia westward.
McEldowney

————-=—————————————————-

BULGARIA AND RUSSIAN INFLUENCE: SHIFTING TRENDLINES
Date:2008 November 21, 13:57 (Friday)

1. (C) Summary: Bulgarian public opinion is consistently
positive toward Russia for several reasons: shared culture,
language and religion; a popular mythology about Russia
“liberating” Bulgaria from Ottoman Turkey; and shady business
connections. Russia also wields influence with a generation
of old-think officials and, more worrisome, with
Moscow-trained cadres in the intelligence services. At the
same time, Bulgaria’s strategic orientation as a NATO and EU
member and developing market economy is increasingly driving
society in another direction. Ordinary Bulgarians are voting
with their feet — westward. Business, trade, travel, and
education are all trending to the EU and the United States.
We have many tasks ahead here to help Bulgaria complete its
post-communist transition, but the younger generation
overwhelmingly looks to Europe and the United States for
Bulgaria’s future. End Summary.

2. (C) Unlike other former east bloc nations, Bulgaria never
suffered a Soviet military invasion or occupation. That
fact, combined with gratitude for Czarist Russia’s help in
Bulgaria’s liberation from the Ottoman Empire, prompt
Bulgarians to give Russia high marks. In a recent opinion
poll, Russia (75 percent positive rating) ran neck to neck
with the EU (78 percent), out-pacing the United States (53
percent, still high in comparison elsewhere in Europe).
However, as this post communist society continues its
transition, there are significant trendlines that are
shifting westward.

EDUCATION
———

3. (SBU) During the Cold War, Bulgarians consistently sought
academic degrees from Russian institutions. That was then.
Today, Bulgarians are overwhelmingly choosing to study in the
West. In the 2006-2007 school year there were over 13,000
Bulgarians studying in Germany and 3,500 studying in the
United States. Considerable numbers study in France (3,000)
and the UK (800). By contrast, only 400 Bulgarian students
chose to study in Russia in 2006-2007. In 2007, over
650,000 young Bulgarians were learning English as a second
language, while only 185,000 were studying Russian. Over
12,000 high school students are enrolled in Junior
Achievement and an average of 10,000 participate in summer
work and travel in the United States each year. For the
young, the west is the place to be.

TOURISM AND IMMIGRATION
———————–

4. (C) Bulgaria’s demographic trends are dire; Eurostat
figures indicate that the population will shrink dramatically
over the next 20 years. Reduced from more than 10 million in
the 1980’s to about 7.6 million today, Bulgaria has a
relatively large diaspora which has chosen west over east.
According to the Bulgarian Embassy in Washington, there are
more than 300,000 Bulgarians living in the United States.
Another 300,000 Bulgarians live in Turkey (mostly ethnic
Turks), 230,000 live in Greece, 180,000 in Canada and 114,000
in Spain. By contrast, according to the last Russian census
(2002), there were only 32,000 Bulgarians living in Russia.
Bulgarian tourists also choose points west over east:
between 25,000 and 30,000 Bulgarians visit the United States
each year. Taking advantage of visa-free travel, many more
visit European destinations. In 2007 about 20,000 Bulgarians
visited Russia, ranking it only 19th among the most visited
places. Many Russians visit here (187,000 visas issued in
2007) taking advantage of warm beaches and cheap prices (when
Russia was flush with petro-rubles), but it is western
Europeans that are the coveted real estate investors and
visitors, with “ugly Russian” images often prevalent given
the boorish and over-bearing behavior.

TRADE AND INVESTMENT
——————–

5. (C) Russia has a stranglehold on Bulgaria’s energy
sector. Seventy percent of all energy resources, including
nearly 100 percent of Bulgaria’s gas, oil and nuclear fuel,
come from Russia, resulting in a lopsided trade deficit.
But, putting aside energy, statistics show a weak Russian
performance elsewhere in the Bulgarian economy. Russia ranks
behind Germany, Italy and Turkey as a trade partner, and its
product mix is nearly non-existent — in 2007 energy and
metals accounted for more than 90 percent of Russian exports
to Bulgaria. In other words, trade ties between Russia and
Bulgaria may be a mile deep in the energy field, but they are

SOFIA 00000738 002 OF 002

only an inch wide in the economy as a whole. Bulgarian
manufacturers are increasingly gearing their products — and
business relationships — to the West.

6. (C) When it comes to retail impact, Russia lags far
behind. Greek firms dominate in banking and financial
services; U.S., German and UK firms dominate in the IT
sector; Greek and U.S. firms dominate in retail electronics;
European firms dominate clothing, grocery, construction goods
and supply centers. Japanese, U.S., and German firms have
huge swaths of commercial and industrial machine tools,
construction equipment, and manufacturing. When one adds the
13 billion or so Euros that Bulgaria could receive in EU
funds through 2013, the scope and depth of Bulgaria’s slow
integration in Europe’s economy will increase.

COMMENT:
——–

7. (C) The indicators above, coupled with the sheer
gravitational pull of EU and NATO-originated demands on
Bulgarian time and resources, will draw Sofia’s attention
towards Brussels and beyond. The estimated USD 13 billion in
EU funds that Bulgaria is scheduled to receive by 2013 (if it
can overcome persistent rule of law issues) will further
focus Bulgaria westward. The positive influence that those
transatlantic relationships will have on Bulgarian society
over time — from improving rule of law to offering more
economic opportunity — may end up luring back a tide of
Bulgarians who “voted with their feet” and moved west.
Bulgaria made a strategic decision to follow the
transatlantic path when it joined NATO and the European
Union. So while Russia still holds an allure for the
elderly, uneducated and rural poor, Bulgarians increasingly
look, travel, and work with an eye on the West and educate
their children accordingly. Through greater engagement in
areas where the trendlines are in our favor, we can help
ensure Bulgaria does not look back.

McEldowney
————–=——————————–

SCENESETTER FOR BULGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER’S VISIT TO WASHINGTON
Date:2009 November 16, 16:34 (Monday)
lassified By: CDA Susan Sutton for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (C) Summary: Foreign Minister Rumiana Zheleva seeks to
put a new face on Bulgaria when she visits Washington
November 23. Conducting the most high-profile U.S. visit of
PM Borissov’s government so far, Zheleva will be
single-minded about convincing you that the government she
represents is the real deal. Having just marked its 100th
day in office, the new government has demonstrated impressive
political will and determination to attack endemic
corruption, restore public (and Brussels’) confidence, and
conduct a U.S.- friendly foreign and security policy.
Zheleva will detail the new government’s attempts to improve
the rule of law, lessen Russian influence in the energy
sector, and deepen the U.S.-Bulgarian security partnership.
She will lobby for a White House meeting for PM Borissov and
stress the importance of future visa-free travel for
Bulgarians. The new government sees your meeting as an
important sign of support for its anti-corruption, pro-west
policies. End Summary.

RULE OF LAW PROGRESS: JOB ONE
——————————

2. (C) Job number one for PM Borissov’s government has been
rooting out the endemic corruption and influence of organized
crime that has soured the EU on its newest member and sapped
public confidence in successive governments. Since taking
office in July, the government has taken concrete steps
against organized crime and corruption. Already, one former
minister and one deputy minister have been indicted and two
more former ministers have been stripped of immunity. The
government must avoid the appearance of seeking political
payback rather than justice, and it must make more progress
quickly against the brazen influence of organized crime
figures. There is still a long way to go, but the Borissov
government is off to an impressive start.

SEEKING TO LESSEN RUSSIAN ENERGY INFLUENCE…
———————————————

3. (C) The new government is focused on breaking Russia’s
stranglehold of the Bulgarian energy sector and it seeks
stronger support from the United States to balance the steady
pressure from Moscow. The goals are increased national
security, improved transparency and a better deal for
Bulgarian consumers. Russia has fought to maintain its
privileged position and, given its near monopoly in the
Bulgarian gas sector and its successful courting of other
European partners, it has the upper hand. The Bulgarians are
standing up for themselves. They have decided to pull the
plug, at least for now, on the corruption-plagued,
Russian-built Belene Nuclear Power Plant and they are still
weighing their options on other majority-Russian owned
projects. With so many European countries already signed on
to South Stream, the Bulgarians will not back out now, but
neither will they be the project’s cheerleaders. Nabucco is
central to this government’s diversification strategy, as are
neighborhood interconnector projects. Bulgaria is also
considering a first-of-its-kind gas transit transparency
project in cooperation with the Extractive Industries
Transparency Initiative (EITI) and the World Bank. Russian
and domestic energy lobby pressure to go back to business as
usual is intense. The government will use your discussion
with Zheleva on the need for diversification and transparency
as political cover to resist Russian bullying and continue
the overhaul and reform of its energy sector.

…WHILE DEEPENING U.S.-BULGARIAN SECURITY PARTNERSHIP
——————————————— ———

4. (C) The new government has stressed that the United
States is its preeminent security partner and it is eager to
deepen our relationship. Despite increasingly tight budgets,
the Borissov government pledges to maintain its troop levels
in Afghanistan and plans to gradually add and consolidate
troops in the Kandahar region. Sofia is ready to assist us
in developing our missile defense architecture and is waiting
to hear whether we have a specific role in mind for Bulgaria.
Sofia has signed a Defense Cooperation Agreement allowing
the permanent stationing of up to 2,500 U.S. service members
at joint training facilities. The new government wants to
maximize the utility of these facilities and has suggested
hosting NATO training events or inviting regional NATO and EU

SOFIA 00000651 002 OF 002

aspirant countries to train together in Bulgaria.

MANAGING EXPECTATIONS WILL BE KEY
———————————

5. (C) Zheleva has two “must-do’s” on her Washington list:
securing a date for a White House meeting for Prime Minister
Borissov and seeking progress on visa waiver. She will come
home empty-handed on both, and will need face-saving messages
to carry back to Sofia. The Prime Minister told us his top
foreign travel priority is a meeting with the President: the
PM, and the public, see such a meeting as a crucial
validation of the Borissov government’s pro-West, pro-reform
policies. On the visa waiver, despite repeated explanations
of the legal qualifications for the program, the government
and the media continue to believe that inclusion is primarily
a political decision and a reward for Bulgaria’s unwavering
support on controversial U.S. foreign policy issues, such as
Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kosovo independence. Your recognition
of U.S. support for Bulgaria’s eventual inclusion into Visa
Waiver, once it meets technical requirements, will soften the
blow.

6. (C) Comment: Zheleva is an ambitious leader on the rise.
Nominated to become Bulgaria’s next EU Commissioner, she says
she will go to Brussels only if offered a high-profile,
foreign policy-related portfolio such as a combined
Enlargement/neighborhood policy billet. Zheleva is sharp,
dynamic and inspires extreme loyalty in those who work for
and with her. She is also a neophyte in foreign policy
issues and her lack of experience and perspective sometimes
shows. Nonetheless, she is committed to making Bulgaria a
respected and responsive member of the EU, and a strong
partner for us.

SUTTON
================-====================

BULGARIA PLANS CONSULATE IN CHICAGO
Date:1974 April 23, 11:30 (Tuesday)

SUBJECT: BULGARIA PLANS CONSULATE IN CHICAGO

1. AUDREY LUKANOV, FIRST VICE MINISTER FOREIGN TRADE,
IN MEETING WITH JAMES INGERSOLL, VICE PRESIDENT BORG-
WARNER CORPORATION APRIL 22, MENTIONED THAT BULGARIA
PLANS TO OPEN A CONSULATE IN CHICAGO AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
HE SAID HE THOUGHT SUBJECT HAD ALREADY BEEN RAISED
IN WASHINGTON FOLLOWING SIGNING OF CONSULAR AGREEMENT
BUT THEN NOTED THAT PROPOSAL MIGHT AWAIT ARRIVAL OF
AMBASSADOR-DESIGNATE POPOV.

2. ACCORDING TO LUKANOV PRIMARY MISSION OF CONSULAR
OFFICE WOULD BE TO DEVELOP TRADE. IN ADDITION TO COMMERCIAL
STAFF, LUKANOV SAID THEY WANTED TO HAVE QUALIFIED TECHNICAL
PERSONNEL SUCH AS ENGINEERS WHO COULD MAKE CONTACTS WITH
IMPORTANT INDUSTRIES IN CHICAGO AREA. INGERSOLL, WHO
IS VICE PRESIDENT OF CHICAGO TRADE CENTER, SAID HE
WELCOMED ALL FOREIGN REPRESENTATION IN CHICAGO AND
PROVIDED U.S. AGREED, WOULD DO ALL HE COULD TO INTRODUCE
BULGARS TO BUSINESS COMMUNITY.

3. COMMENT: THIS IS FIRST WE HAVE HEARD OF PLANS TO
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PAGE 02 SOFIA 00635 231242Z

EXPAND BULGARIAN CONSULAR REPRESENTATION IN U.S. THEY
HAVE EXPANDED CONTACTS WITH CHICAGO-BASED COMPANIES
FOLLOWING LUKANOV’S VISIT IN SUMMER OF 1973, AND EFFORT
TO ESTABLISH CONSULATE FITS IN WITH THEIR DESIRE TO PUSH
TRADE WITH U.S. BULGARIAN REPRESENTATION IN CHICAGO
WOULD PROBABLY ASSIST SALES OF U.S. GOODS AND WOULD HELP
TO ADVERTISE OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE TO U.S. BUSINESS IN
BULGARIA.

4. INGERSOLL MEETINGS IN BULGARIA, BY THE WAY, WERE
QUITE SUCCESSFUL AND HE APPEARED HOPEFUL THAT PRESENT LEVEL
OF BORG-WARNER BUSINESS ($500,000) COULD BE QUICKLY
EXPANDED. IN ADDITION TO MEETING WITH LUKANOV, INGERSOLL
RECEIVED BY DIRECTORS-GENERAL OF TECHNOCOMPLEKT, BALKANCAR,
AVTOIMPEX, AND MASCHINOEXPORT. BULGARIANS INTERESTED IN
PURCHASE OF COMPONENTS FOR HYDRAULIC CLUTCHES, AUTOMATIC
TRANSMISSIONS AND AXLES FOR ELECTRIC CARS AND DIESEL
TRUCKS, AS WELL AS SPECIALIZED REFRIGERATION EQUIPMENT.
INGERSOLL SAID HE SAW A WIDE AREA OF POTENTIAL
COOPERATION AND INTENDS TO SEND BORG-WARNER TEAM OF
ENGINEERS TO BULGARIA SHORTLY TO IDENTIFY SPECIFIC
PROJECTS ON WHICH TO BID.
HERZ

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