The US authorities imposed sanctions on three Bulgarian citizens and their 64 companies under the so-called Magnitsky List. According to the US Treasury, this is the largest anti-corruption effort to date.
Reuters reported that the sanctions were imposed on businessman Vasyl Krumov Buzkov, accused of plans to create the so-called Buzkov. A channel of influence through which the Russian authorities can influence the Bulgarian government. Sanctions were also imposed on former MP Dilian Swaw Beowsky and former state official Eko Dimitrov Zelazkov, as well as 64 companies he owns or controls.
Corruption not only deprives citizens of their livelihood, it can also destroy the institutions that are supposed to protect them. Andrea Jackie, Director of the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, explains that this decision under the Magnitski Global Sanctions Program shows that we are committed to fighting corruption wherever it occurs.
Bulgaria and the problems of corruption
The US blacklist, which includes people suspected of widespread corruption, is the result of the Magnitsky Act adopted by the US Congress in December 2012. It commemorates the Russian opposition lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in prison in 2009. According to independent sources, he was severely beaten on hands of prison guards.
The sanctions prevent blacklisted individuals and companies from accessing the US financial system. They also froze their US assets and banned Americans from doing business with the restricted entities.
As Reuters stresses, the EU has long been pressing Bulgaria, which has been a member since 2007, to fight corruption more effectively and improve rule of law standards.