US to Work on Boosting Bulgaria's Energy Security - Secretary of State

Borisov (L) and Kerry (R) outside the Council of Ministers in Sofia after their meeting and joint press conference on Thursday, January 15. Photo by BGNES

The US is committed to Bulgaria's energy security and to curbing its energy dependence, US Secretary of State John Kerry has said while on a visit to Sofia.

In a press conference with Prime Minister Boyko Borisov following their meeting on Thursday, Kerry announced Washington would send an energy expert to work with Bulgaria's Energy Ministry to help draw a plan for the Southeast European country's energy future in the aftermath of the abandoned South Stream gas pipeline project, the end of which raises concerns of Bulgaria's citizens.

The top US diplomat will also seek to secure EU funding for Bulgaria's gas interconnection link with Greece, a prospect he has already discussed with the EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for Energy Union Maro? ?ef?ovi?.

Kerry added the two countries would increase the number of joint drills, reiterating that the US was supportive of Bulgaria's plans to "optimize" its armed forces to achieve compatibility with NATO requirements.

There will be ongoing bilateral cooperation in security, defense and energy security, as well as rule of law, education and the process of deepening ties between the peoples of Bulgaria and the US, with work groups to be set up on each of those issues, the two have announced at their press conference.

Kerry asserted he had come to convince each Bulgarian that America is committed to helping strengthen the country's democracy, its institutions and rule of law. He also said Washington was supportive of the current government's plans to reform the judicial system and fighting organized crime and corruption. He warned that, in the case of Bulgaria, tackling corruption was crucial for improving investment climate.

In his words, ...

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