United States Blacklists Corrupt Bulgarians
The United States has blacklisted several Bulgarians and 64 companies owned or controlled by them.
As a result, they no longer have access to the US financial system, assets in the US are frozen, and Americans cannot do business with them.
One of the Bulgarians is oligarch Vassil Kroumov Bozhkov. Through him, Russian leaders would have access to the Bulgarian government to exert their influence there. Bozhkov is one of the richest men in Bulgaria. The man, who is also known as a gambling magnate, fled the country last year after he was charged with, among other things, extortion and tax fraud. He denies all allegations, and he now lives in Dubai.
The US Treasury Department also imposed sanctions on Delyan Peevski, a former MP and media mogul, and Ilko Dimitrov Zhelyazkov, a government official. A number of former officials have also been put on the list and are no longer welcome in the US. According to the ministry, it is the most significant action against corruption the country has taken to date.
According to Transparency International, an organization that fights against corruption, Bulgaria is the most corrupt member state of the European Union. The European Commission has repeatedly criticized the Balkan country for failing to eradicate corruption and punish those responsible.