Alternatives & Analyses: Borissov leaks a story – the IGB will suffer in case of US sanctions against Turk Stream

“24 Hours” daily  is Borissov’s media mountpiece. An article that has just appeared warns that the United States is shortly due to announce sanctions against the companies involved in Turk stream 2. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a statement to this effect, confirming the story.

We can only speculate whether this will affect Bulgartransgaz as the contracting authority and party to the gas transmission contract on Turk Stream with Gazexport, or the company that will build it – Arkad. The sanctions could apply to Bulgartransgaz as an investor and the Arkad Group as the main contractor.

The United States is ending the special treatment that Borissov and Geshev have enjoyed since their trips to Washington.

Due to the nature of Borissov and U.S. Ambassador Mustafa’s meeting, there is no way for “24 Chasa” to have a different source than the prime minister himself. PM Borissov has a poor record as a trustworthy source, and he might have mixed some facts with his interpretations.

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The information leak is deliberate, and the Bulgarian PM wants to send a message – to Washington and Moscow.

The second part of the article is essential. Namely, it claims that due to political instability in Bulgaria, following the protests demanding Borissov’s resignation, the fate of both Turk Stream and the IGB is uncertain.

The Bulgarian PM further adds that the IGB is meant to transport “American LNG. ” There is no point in arguing the lapses in the original story as the LNG source could be sourced from anywhere in the world – Russia, the US, Qatar, Algeria, Mozambique, etc.

What matters is that  Borissov is trying to solicit the support of the United States government.

The interconnector project with Greece has always been a thorn in the backside of the Bulgarian energy establishment, used to exclusive deals with Gazprom and Russia.

The IGB has long faced subversive attempts by Bulgarian, Russian politicians and oligarchs to obstruct, delay, and block the project,  embarrassing its management and its customers.

The Bulgarian segment of the Turk Stream and the IGB will face delays, with groundbreaking ceremonies pushed back to the middle of next year. The Dogan-Borisov-Peevski power trio has a personal commitment to the Kremlin to complete the Turk Stream extension on time within the incumbent government’s  term of office.  The cash has already changed hands , which poses a threat to the lives of the three powerful men in Bulgaria, inviting the need for National Service For Protection guards to provide security to the private citizens Dogan and Peeevsky.

True to his instincts, Borissov is playing it both ways. By creatively leaking his story to ’24 chasa, ‘ Borissov is sending an SOS signal to Moscow – the Americans are trying to topple my government. Knowing his past incarnations, one could equally interpret this as an excuse for the Bulgarian PM for not deliver on Turk Stream.

Commitments regarding the energy projects to Russia top the list of the reasons to delay Borissov’s resignation and the desperate attempts to find a formula to extend Dogan and Peevsky’s control over the project execution.

Sooner or later, this [perceived duplicity in American foreign policy — being hard on Nord Stream and soft on Turk Stream — had to end. I have consistently warned that the Balkan-Turk Stream is a geopolitically-motivated project, and as such, it is a mission impossible for a NATO and EU member country.

Borissov overshot his target to build Belene NPP with Chinese money and Russian technology, lying to the world that he has cleared the project with President Macron and President Trump.

This game is over.

The analysis of this ongoing story will continue.

Ilian Vassilev

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