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Ovcharov “Not Worried” about Magnitsky Designation

Commenting on his recent addition to a list of Bulgarians sanctioned under the US Global Magnitsky Act, Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) member and former energy minister Rumen Ovcharov told journalists here on Saturday that he was not worried about anything.
Ovcharov, Kozloduy N-Plant former CEO and deputy director Aleksandar Nikolov, and the N-plant’s former CEO and former MP Ivan Genov were designated on Friday “for a series of illicit dealings and the exchange of bribes related to energy contracts that robbed the Government and people of Bulgaria of hundreds of millions of dollars.” “I don’t hold any offshore accounts, I don’t have five millions, and I don’t have companies doing business with Kozloduy,” the former energy minister said during the session of BSP’s 50th Congress on Saturday.
He described as “cynical” the designation of Genov and Nikolov, considering that they were the first to sign an agreement in 2009 on exploring opportunities for the installation of US-built nuclear reactors at the power plant.  
Ovcharov sees the inclusion of himself, Genov, Nikolov and Malinov as a warning to “any expert at this level who would dare speak against US interests and US projects in Bulgaria and oppose US interests” or, in the case of Malinov, “to think about doing anything with Russia.”  
Malinov, leader of the Russophiles National Movement and chairman of the Russophiles for Revival of the Fatherland Political Party, was designated for “bribing a judge to permit him to travel to Russia, even though he had been indicted for espionage on behalf of Russian-backed interests and had been placed under a travel ban”. “This battle is not against me, it is not a battle for the past. The battle is for the future of Bulgaria and of the Bulgarian energy sector and for pushing Russia out of Bulgaria,” the designee said. “None of us has defended Russian interests, we have defended the Bulgarian interests, because it is in Bulgaria’s interest to procure cheap nuclear fuel,” he added.
In connection with the Magnitsky designations, the Congress resolved that the BSP backs the upholding of Bulgaria’s national interest in the power industry and supports the experts who defend it.