US imposes sanctions on Bulgarian oligarchs
The US government has imposed far-reaching sanctions against several prominent Bulgarians and their companies. The move was aimed at holding corrupt individuals accountable and supporting the rule of law in Bulgaria, it said in a press release. High-ranking politicians are mentioned, albeit not by name, but for the national press it's clear who is the target here.
FBI has ironclad principles
For e-vestnik there is no doubt that ex-prime minister Boyko Borissov is the addressee:
“The US knows very well who took what and who gave what. It has no doubts about Borissov's involvement, even if it doesn't say so officially. ... The FBI has an ironclad principle: if it looks like corruption and smells like corruption, it's corruption. ... Bulgaria's prosecution acts on a different principle: if there is evidence and witness testimonies, Borissov remains untouched.”
Bulgarians now have the choice
The US's message is primarily addressed to Bulgarian citizens, says Deutsche Welle's Bulgarian service:
“The United States has drawn its conclusions, and informs us that certain practices in Bulgaria are (diplomatically speaking) inadmissible, and that the perpetrators will be sanctioned according to its laws. It is for Bulgaria to decide what action its takes on these issues - its institutions and voters will determine this in the parliamentary elections on 11 July. That meant the bells of the US are ringing. Those who have ears, common sense and a conscience can hear them.”