US Ambassador Concerned With South Stream Construction Bid

Diplomatic Channel | June 6, 2014, Friday // 15:09|  views


In an exclusive interview for, US ambassador to Bulgaria Marcie Ries said the US were concerned with the construction of the Bulgarian stretch of South Stream.

According to recent reports, the Bulgarian stretch of the pipeline will be built by the Russian Stroytransgaz consortium.

A major shareholder (63%) in Stroytransgaz is Volga Group, owned by Gennady Timchenko, who was placed on the US's sanctions list against Russia in mid-March. He is believed to be the 6th richest man in Russia, according to Forbes, and with close ties to President Vladimir Putin.

Was there a US reaction on the fact that for the construction of the South Stream pipeline in Bulgaria was chosen a company, partly owned by Gennady Timchenko, who is on the US sanctions list?

We are deeply concerned with the recent decision of Bulgaria to concede the construction of South Stream to Stroytransgaz. In response to the actions of Russia in Ukraine, the US included Stroytransgaz and its branches in the US sanctions list, published on April 28. Those sanctions forbid any business relations of US citizens with Stroytransgaz and the freeze the assets of this company in the US.

How would you comment this choice and could it have an effect on the bilateral relations?

This is not the right moment to work with Russia in the usual way. We advise the Bulgarian companies to avoid doing business with companies and people, sanctioned by the US. Companies or physical entities, who provide material support to Stroytransgaz can also be subjected to US sanctions, which are part of the wider efforts of the international community to hold Russia responsible for violating the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.

Have there been meetings between Bulgarian and American representatives at which the subject was discussed?

Bulgaria's government is familiar with our stance on this decision.

How would the US react, if partner countries, NATO members, do not conform to the US sanctions? How would this be interpreted?

It is important that the USA and the EU continue to work together and to clearly demonstrate to Russia, that its actions in Ukraine will continue to have consequences. Companies and persons who provide material support to Stroytransgaz could also be included in the US sanctions list.

We need your support so can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!

Tags: US, ambassador, Marcie Ries, Stroytransgaz, South stream, sanctions


» Related Articles: