US ambassador Ries: Due diligence normal procedure on any investment such as Belene

Conducting due diligence is normal procedure in dealing with a company making an approach regarding a major investment, newly-accredited United States ambassador in Sofia Marcie Ries told a brief news conference at the US embassy on October 1 2012.

Ries, who earlier the same day had presented her credentials to President Rossen Plevneliev, was asked about the approach by US-based Global Power Consortium to revive the Belene nuclear power station project.

After the current centre-right government has turned about and turned about again on Belene, dropping the long-stalled project in March only to support negotiations with the new would-be investor only, on October 1, to put the whole thing back on the backburner pending the outcome of a national referendum, the issue is at the centre of national headlines and was an inevitable question for the new US ambassador.

US ambassador Ries presents her credentials to President Plevneliev. Photo: US embassy

October 1, Plevneliev said that negotiations with the would-be investor should be held only after the proposed referendum, with Prime Minister Boiko Borissov saying soon after that he was ordering any talks suspended until “answers are given to the expert questions”.

Ries said that she would think that the Bulgarian government would follow the practice of doing due diligence.

“This is a very big project involving a great deal of money and this would be the prudent way to proceed.”

To a further question, Ries declined to be drawn. “As I mentioned, it is the responsibility of the government to do due diligence regarding this question and I think we will proceed from there,” she said.




The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage.