Bulgaria Lacks Progress in Fight against Corruption – US Interim Charg? d'Affaires
Bulgaria has registered progress in many spheres over the past 25 years, yet there are also worrying trends, including the economic development and the fight against corruption, according to Roderick W. Moore, interim Charg? d'Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Sofia.
In a Wednesday interview for Nova TV, he specified that he was not expressing his opinion but that of the people living in the country.
“Bulgarian citizens believe that the country is plagued by rampant corruption at all levels and that there is a certain class of people above the law. When I was in Bulgaria 15 years ago, I kept asking one and the same question – how many senior public officials have been convicted for corruption. All I got in response were smiles. I have been asking the same question for weeks and the answer is the same,” he said, as cited by dnevnik.bg.
Moore, who was Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Sofia in the period 2000-2003, argued that the widely held assumption of a class of people who were above the law was a problem.
He announced that there were over 1000 cases a year involving corruption at all levels in the US.
Moore was adamant that the US was not to blame for the wave of refugees, stressing that there was a dramatic civil war going on in Syria and that the US participated in a number of ways in the efforts to find a peaceful solution.
He rejected allegations that the US was planning to deploy F-22s fighter aircraft to Bulgaria, adding that the fighter jets would be sent to Europe.
The US diplomat went on to say that he had not been informed either about plans of the US to use military bases in Bulgaria to hit targets in Syria.
He said that US military equipment had been temporarily stationed in Bulgaria, adding that this would keep happening intermittently.
Moore noted that the hysteria surrounding the deployment of US troops and military equipment to Bulgaria was strange, taking into account that the two countries were allies.
He emphasized that the Bulgarian government had approved all cases of sending US troops or military equipment to the country.
The US diplomat added that one of the reasons behind the increased US military presence in Europe was the aggressive and unlawful activity of Russia in Ukraine.
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