US Ambassador to EU: Visa Regime for Bulgarians Remains
The US visa regime for Bulgarian citizens remains effective, says William Kennard, the US Ambassador to the European Union.
Kennard made the statement Tuesday in a reply to a question of the Bulgarian Member of the European Parliament from the Group of Socialists and Democrats, Evgeni Kirilov, at a round table with the US Ambassador and the EP Foreign Affairs Committee.
Kirilov noted that the US is applying double standards towards EU citizens with Bulgaria being one of the few Member States, along with Poland, Romania and Cyprus, which need US visas.
The MEP stressed that the mechanism of lifting the visa regime creates a paradox by capping the percentage of yearly visa denials, but the authority for such denials is given to diplomatic missions in a particular country.
Kennard stated that he understands the disappointment as does US President, Barack Obama, and the Administration was working in the direction of lifting the visa regime, which, however, was to remain effective for the time being.
In February, Bulgarian Ambassador in Washington DC, Elena Poptodorova, explained it would be unrealistic to expect lifting the visa regime in 2012.
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