US sanctions on Peevski, Bozhkov: Bulgaria lists connected companies

Acting on a decision by the caretaker government, Bulgaria’s National Revenue Agency has published lists of persons who fall or could potentially fall within the scope of sanctions imposed by the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

This follows the Treasury Department’s June 2 announcement of sanctions on Vassil Bozhkov, a prominent Bulgarian businessman and oligarch; Delyan Peevski, a former Member of Parliament; and Ilko Zhelyazkov, the former deputy chief of the Bulgarian State Agency for Technical Operations who was appointed to the National Bureau for Control on Special Intelligence-Gathering Devices, as well as companies owned or controlled by them.

Earlier, on Friday Bulgaria’s caretaker government set up a working group to urgently prepare and maintain a list of those who are, or could be, subject to the sanctions, in order to protect state and municipal companies and other spending units from falling within the scope of the US sanctions.

The working group involves representatives of the Interior Ministry, Finance Ministry, State Agency for National Security and the National Revenue Agency, a government statement said.

The government said that the list must include all natural and legal persons owned, controlled or managed in the past five years by those included in the OFAC list, all partners, shareholders, management and members of the control bodies of these persons, as well as all natural persons and legal entities identified by the State Agency for National Security and National Revenue Agency as connected to those subject to the sanctions.

The State Agency for National Security and National Revenue Agency are responsible for keeping the list up-to-date, either through additions or exclusions.

The caretaker government ordered ministers and other executive bodies to terminate relations between administrations, departments, state-owned enterprises, companies with state and municipal participation in the capital and the companies they control, with persons on the list, and not to enter into new ones.

The statement said that the government’s actions would minimise the risks for Bulgaria politically and internationally, as well as to the Bulgarian economy, from the US sanctions.

It said that the decision was taken because at the moment there is no legal framework under which the state should take action in the event of sanctions imposed by the authorities of another state.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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