US Expresses Support for Bulgarian Constitution Amendments

Politics » DIPLOMACY | April 21, 2015, Tuesday // 19:30
Bulgaria: US Expresses Support for Bulgarian Constitution Amendments Photo: BGNES

The US will be standing next to Bulgaria in tough times. The statement was made by Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Hoyt Yee following his meeting with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov.

''Bulgaria is a friend and an alley in both good and bad times on an international and regional level,'' Yee said. '' I am hereby confirming that the US will be standing right next to Bulgaria. With regards to defense, the US would like to congratulate Bulgaria on its contribution. We welcome the measures Bulgaria has taken to counteract terrorism.''

He further noted that the key to energy security in the whole region is diversification.

The gas inter-connector between Bulgaria and Greece was deemed to have high importance.

Yee noted that the supremacy of law is not an abstract measure, but instead is a key element so that Bulgaria can attain economic success.

''Sometimes the obstacles are small acts of corruption and they need to be counteracted,'' stated Yee. '' We were talking about the anti-corruption units. There needs to be punishment for high-level corruption. The judiciary needs to be independent. We welcome the efforts of Bulgaria for amendments in the Constitution.''

Hoyt Yee is a member of the team of Deputy Foreign Secretary Victoria Nuland responsible for Eastern Europe and Eurasia. His previous visit to Bulgaria was made in September 2014, right prior to the announcement made by US President Obama on the severe sanctions against Russia, as well as the new planned hits against Islamic State headquarters in Iraq and Syria.

''It is important for us to continue the sanctions if we wish to show Russia that it can't get away with it and that it can't continue acting in the same way,'' Yee noted. '' And, if Russia does not stop, if it doesn't withdraw its military forces from Ukraine, we need to be ready to strengthen the economic sanctions.''

Bulgaria has had to give up a lot of things in the name of its Euro-atlantic development, in exchange for which it expects to be compensated through more investments and higher economic growth. The position was expressed by Bulgarian Pm Boiko Borisov following the meeting.

''There will be an extraordinary meeting in Brussels this upcoming Thursday on the topic of refugee action,'' Borisov added. '' We will talk a lot on the issue. Bulgaria has been spending a huge amount of money. We should not focus on the sea borders, as land borders pose a bigger problem. I have shared with Hoyt Yee that I am extremely dissatisfied with our neighbor collaboration on the issue. I am hoping that the same way that we are listening, hearing and reforming the internal security units, counter-contrabanda units and corruption, I hope that the same way we will receive a response on the unified Energy Union - for a real diversification.''

Borisov noted that he sees no difference between South Stream and Turkish Stream in terms of energy diversification. He said that he is very glad that Hoyt yee realizes the importance of the matter for the energy security of the entire continent.

''They can wait a little with the military planes, because we first need to give more money to retired people, we need to fix up the country a little bit, to restore the financial discipline,'' said PM Borisov regarding the purchasing of US-produced military planes for the Bulgarian army. '' We have received understanding on the matter on the part of the US and NATO. The engagement for purchasing of planes and increasing the military budget has been taken up prior to my government came to power. We, as a member-state of NATO will make every effort to comply with the agreement a little bit later on.''

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Tags: Bulgaria, US, PM, Boiko Borisov, diplomacy, constitution, amendment, Hoyt Yee, Victoria Nuland, military, energy, NATO
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