Published by Wikileaks & Bivol.bg
 id: 226748 date: 9/24/2009 14:57 refid: 09SOFIA538 origin: Embassy Sofia classification: SECRET destination: 09SOFIA363|09SOFIA499|09SOFIA507 header: VZCZCXRO3445 OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL DE RUEHSF #0538/01 2671457 ZNY SSSSS ZZH O 241457Z SEP 09 FM AMEMBASSY SOFIA TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6347 INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA IMMEDIATE 0039 RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS IMMEDIATE RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE    S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 SOFIA 000538    SIPDIS    DOE FOR JELKIND, TCUTLER, PYOSHIDA, KTHOMPSON, DEPT FOR  AMB. MORNINGSTAR, JNEISHWAT, S/ES-CR, S/ES-O AND EUR/CE    E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/24/2019  TAGS: ENRG, IAEA, PREL, PGOV, BU  SUBJECT: BULGARIA: PM BORISSOV SEEKING WHITE HOUSE  ENGAGEMENT ON STRATEGIC ENERGY DECISIONS    REF: A. ADAMS-SMITH E-MAIL 9/24/09       B. SOFIA 507       C. SOFIA 499       D. SOFIA 0363 AND PREVIOUS    Classified By: CDA John Ordway for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).    1.  (S) SUMMARY: A letter from Prime Minister Boyko Borissov  to President Obama dated September 24, 2009, was  hand-delivered to the Embassy the same day with an urgent  request to transmit it to the White House.  In the letter,  the PM asks for advice on strategic decisions in the energy  sector to achieve his goals of rooting out corruption,  enhancing transparency and reducing reliance on Russia.  The  Prime Minister asked for direct interaction with the U.S. to  assist in improving European energy security by diversifying  supplies and transit routes.  Text of the letter is provided  in para 2 and ref A emails.  End Summary.    TEXT OF PRIME MINISTER BORRISOV LETTER  --------------------------------------    2.  (SBU)  BEGIN TEXT OF THE LETTER    Barack H. Obama  President of the United States of America  The White House  1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW  Washington, DC 20500    Sofia, 24 September 2009      Mr. President,    When my party won the clear electorate mandate in the  parliamentary elections in July 2009, Bulgaria entered the  first economic downturn in a decade, compounded by urgent  need for reforms in key policy areas.  With such a clear  victory came also high expectations and responsibility.  Since taking office in July 2009, my government has  implemented concrete actions in eradicating corruption and  organized crime that have significantly slowed down the  reform process in Bulgaria for the past several years and  have tarnished Bulgaria's reputation.    My country faces formidable challenges requiring strategic  decisions with long term implications for Europe.  Nowhere  else are these challenges more complex and important than in  the energy sector.  In order to ensure the economic and  social well-being of my people, Bulgaria must have a strategy  that targets safe, affordable, and reliable supplies of  energy.  We need to maintain diversity of fuels from a  multiplicity of sources ) we must not depend on a single  supplier.  The gas crisis of early 2009 affected the whole  Europe but Bulgaria suffered the most with a direct and  severe impact on its citizens and its economy.  The crisis  further enforced the need for diversification and  alternatives.    Bulgaria's energy sector has been plagued with corruption,  inefficiency and lack of strategic planning.  I am committed  to change the practice of "business as usual" in the  Bulgarian energy sector to provide my people with stable and  reliable sources of energy.  My country being at the cross  roads of major transit routes, I want to ensure that Bulgaria  will play a role in the realization of alternative transit  infrastructure for diversified energy supplies for Europe.    My government is ready to implement strategic decisions to  create a transparent, diversified, and efficient energy  sector.  As a first step, we are currently evaluating the  large-scale Russian-proposed projects in the gas and oil  transit and nuclear energy production, to which the previous  government had committed.  These projects have strategic  implications for Europe, the Black-sea-Caspian Region, and  Eurasia.    I would very much like to meet with you and your  representatives in the near future to discuss details of  these important projects and reforms in the energy sector of  my country.  I want to move forward immediately to implement    SOFIA 00000538  002 OF 002      a change -- a change that is good for Bulgaria, Europe and  the Black Sea -- Caspian Region.  I sincerely believe that  our meetings will help my government achieve one of its top  priority objectives that will support diversified energy  sources in Europe.    /Signed/    Boyko Borissov    Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria    END OF THE TEXT OF THE LETTER    COMMENT  -------    3.  (S) Borissov wants visible engagement with us to  counter-balance tough Russian pressure. PM Putin told  Borissov that he expects answers from Bulgaria on  large-scale, Russian-backed projects in November.  Although  they are dependent on Russia for the bulk of their energy  supply, Borissov and his young, pro-western, Russia-skeptic  team are searching for better options.  We should seize this  opportunity to provide them strategic and technical advice  and show our engagement at the highest possible level.  Our  aim should be to bolster the government's confidence to  continue Bulgaria's strong engagement in Nabucco, make a  decision on South Stream participation that is in Bulgaria's  long-term interests, and rethink the Belene Nuclear Project.  While we are moving forward with working-level engagement,  including briefings by American companies and U.S. think tank  experts, top Russian government officials are visiting Sofia  to follow up on Putin's personal engagement with Borissov.  With a November deadline for decision-making looming, we have  a narrow window of opportunity to help the government make  tough technical, economic and political decisions on issues  critical for our own policies on European energy security.  End comment.  ORDWAY 

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