Borisov and His Cronies Have Lost US Patronage

Sanctions Show Bulgaria’s Strategic Importance in the Region

7 June 2021

Spasimir Domaradzki

Visegrad Insight Fellow

Sanctions imposed by the United States on both prominent and less visible cronies, join the tide of efforts to reveal the corrupted nature of the Bulgarian political regime that has ruled the country since 2001 and has turned Bulgaria into a textbook example of state capture.

The imposition of sanctions on a handful of more and less important but undoubtedly corrupted Bulgarians has created renewed international media attention. This imposition is the second time in two years when the United States issues formal sanctions against Bulgarian citizens.

Usually, this practice is applied against local dictators and their aides beyond the Western world. This time, however, the provisions of the Magnitsky law were used not only against a prominent politician (Delyan Peevski – Movement for Rights and Freedoms/Renew Europe) and an oligarch gangster (Vasyl Bozhkov) but also against less known pawns on Bulgaria’s corruption chessboard.

Importantly, Bulgaria is a NATO ally and an EU member. As I wrote persistently, Peevski is the emanation of all the evil in Bulgarian politics over the last dozen years. Vasil Bozhkov (the Skull) is a senior oligarch and well-known criminal to the US authorities since the early twenty-first century.

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Spasimir Domaradzki

Visegrad Insight Fellow

Visegrad Insight Fellow. Researcher and lecturer at the Faculty of Political Science and International Studies of the University of Warsaw and Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Lazarski University in Warsaw.

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