US Ambassador to Bulgaria: We give you Gas at Excellent Prices, Direct Flights will be RestoredDiplomacy | May 21, 2022, Saturday // 14:37| views
United States Ambassador to Bulgaria HE Herro Mustafa
If Bulgaria had completed the gas interconnection with Greece a year ago, it would not have been in the current situation.
The United States will provide an additional 15 billion cubic tons of liquefied natural gas to Europe, and Bulgaria will have supplies “at excellent prices”.
Washington believes that if the Balkan countries are not in the EU, in this case North Macedonia, a vacuum is being created. "And when there is a vacuum, those who do not want stability will benefit."
These are some of the highlights of an interview with the American Ambassador to Bulgaria Herro Mustafa for Nova TV.
Here is what else she said:
Bulgaria will comply with President Zelensky's demands, but we will not send weapons to Ukraine. What is your comment?
“As I have said many times, Bulgaria is a friend, partner and ally, as well as a very strong and trusted partner in NATO. Whether Bulgaria decides to send military equipment or not is a decision to be made between Bulgaria and Ukraine. It is a sovereign decision of Bulgaria. And I would like to focus on the positive - the fact that Bulgaria is building a NATO battle group on its territory; the fact that Bulgaria has accepted over 100,000 refugees; the fact that Bulgaria has supported UN resolutions and sanctions, and that Bulgaria opposes the atrocities we are witnessing, opposes Russia's destructive actions against civilians and civilian targets that we are witnessing.”
Russia has suspended gas supplies to Bulgaria. How can the United States help with this crisis?
“I would like to draw attention to something very important that you mentioned. Gazprom unilaterally violated its agreement with Bulgaria. First, Gazprom tried to change the terms of its agreement, and then, when Bulgaria stood up for itself, Gazprom decided to use energy unilaterally as a weapon. That is why we have been working together for diversification for years.
In March, our US administration said it would provide an additional 15 billion cubic tons of liquefied natural gas to Europe. As you have recently learned, during the visit of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Energy of Bulgaria to Washington, we worked together to ensure two extraordinary supplies of liquefied natural gas at prices excellent for Bulgaria; and we will continue to work for medium and long-term solutions because we are friends and partners.
And now I would like to return to the topic of diversification. Imagine if Bulgaria had completed the Greece-Bulgaria gas interconnection a year ago, for example, Bulgaria would not be in its current position. So work in an effort to achieve diversification as quickly as possible. And this will happen - not only with liquefied natural gas from the United States, but also from other countries, which is extremely important. And again, I want to get back to where we started. It was Russia that unilaterally violated its treaty. For those who blame Bulgaria for what happened, I say: ‘Advocate for Bulgaria; stand up for Bulgaria's energy independence.‘"
In your opinion, what could be a workable solution leading to a breakthrough in relations between Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia?
“The most important thing is to have a dialogue. I think that the new governments on both sides have set a good start to the dialogue. You know that we, as an administration, believe in the unity of Europe and in the membership of these countries in the European Union. You know as a Bulgarian that Bulgaria's membership in the European Union for 15 years - with the benefits that come to Bulgaria - and the membership of the countries in the region in the European Union allow greater regional stability and regional prosperity. I would say that dialogue is important. And what is not useful is if both sides issue ultimatums or use negative rhetoric, and if politicians on both sides see this only as a conflict that contributes to their own popularity. That would not be helpful. There must be a real dialogue in an attempt to find a solution for the way forward. This regional stability is important because, if they are not members of the EU, a vacuum is created. And when there is a vacuum, those who do not want stability will benefit from it.”
Is a new Iron Curtain coming down over Europe?
“No, I do not think so. In my opinion, we are witnessing a remarkable international unity. More than 140 countries have voted in favor of UN resolutions condemning Russia's atrocities. You see how nations come together in times of crisis. We are so interdependent that most countries in the world prefer an international system based on rules. In my opinion, this is the future.”
Direct flights between Bulgaria and the United States will be resumed
After 23 years of attempts, in the summer of 2022, the first direct passenger flights between Bulgaria and the United States are expected to start. This was announced in an interview with Nova TV by the US Ambassador to Bulgaria Herro Mustafa.
“I am very excited that this summer we will have the first direct flights between the United States and Bulgaria in 23 years. I am excited because it means that more and more Americans will be able to get to know Bulgaria the way I love it”, said Herro Mustafa, without going into details.
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