The indicted oligarch Ivo Prokopiev who has left a mark in the history of the Transition period in Bulgaria with one of the most maleficent privatisation deals – that for Kaolin mining company, managed to lug in his manipulations even the US State Department.

One of his principle misinformation tools, the Association of European Journalists – Bulgaria (AEJ-Bulgaria), an NGO immediately related to the Capital circle, put itself on record in the latest State Department report on human rights status around the globe for 2018. The Media chapter of the report is based exactly on the claims of AEJ-Bulgaria.  

It is an enigma why the US institution decided to trust the Association which is fully comprised of former and present employees of two indicted persons – Ivo Prokopiev and Ognyan Donev, as well as of their no less scandalous partner, Sasho Donchev.  The result, however, is apparent – the Association grabbed the opportunity to give as an example of pressure the appeal of the publications from our Monitor and Telegraph media group to the bTV channel to get rid of journalists who use the national air for waging smearing campaigns.

AEJ-Bulgaria has evidently missed to mention that this appeal came after Svetoslav Ivanov, anchor of the “120 Minutes” talk show used this platform to denounce our publications as “media battering rams” without quoting any facts or evidence. This apparently fake news, one of the many fakes against publisher of Telegraph Media Delyan Peevski circulated by media and programmes catering to the interests of Prokopiev&Co, is not mentioned in the report as an example.

What is even more absurd is the fact that the report doesn’t quote yet another, even more drastic example of aggression against our journalist  - the incident with our Plovdiv correspondent Eli Krumova who was hit by the now ex-employee of the Council of Ministers press service. The event has shocked the media community last year as an act of open aggression on the part of a representative of power structure against a journalist and stirred stormy reaction among the larger part of our colleagues.

Faced with an avalanche of indignant comments the AEJ-Bulgaria also came out with a declaration, albeit belatedly, but they were obviously struck by a case of amnesia and forgot to quote it during their conversations which laid the foundation to the Media chapter of the US State Department report. Because this outrageous example of aggression is also omitted in the report. The result of the institution’s decision to use as their source an openly biased Association which services the interests of the indicted oligarchs in Bulgaria is the distorted media picture that has nothing to do with the reality.

Why the media outlets of the Telegraph Media are such a thorn in the side for Prokopiev and his pawns is a question with a foretold answer. For decades on end we have been bringing to light the shady deals of Prokopiev and his minions who for years are trying to pick taxpayers’ pockets. Each of our journalistic investigations was grounded and confirmed, including in court, because truth is on our side. And since this is a fact, the only thing which the oligarch from Razgrad can do is to create some parallel, alternative reality built on fake news.

The question is why authoritative institutions like the US Department of State allow to be caught into this web of manipulations and give credit to the claims of the obviously biased NGOs which cater to the interests of the oligarchy in Bulgaria?

Otherwise, the media of the Capital circle and the other backstage actors using the country’s publications as a screen for their criminal deeds have never had any scruples when implicating foreign institutions into their manipulations. Thus, several months ago, Frognews involved into his fakes against Peevski even US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and, prior to that incident, another US senator whose office had to refute the post in an e-edition financed by the fugitive banker Tsvetan Vassilev. Now Frognews was the first website to use the State Department report to launch one more attack against Peevski and the media outlets of Telegraph Media (See here).   

And if any of you is still wondering how the indicted oligarchs-turned-publishers use the internet sites which they themselves finance we can quote one bright example – the EVN affair and the way how Dnevnik and Capital distort the facts which in this case are evident (See here).

PM Borissov discusses Balkan Gas Hub in Azerbaijan

During his official visit to Azerbaijan on 14-15 March, Bulgaria's PM Boyko Borissov discussed the future of the Balkan Gas Hub with the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev (See here). The bilateral cooperation in the field of power engineering and the possibilities for the participation of Azerbaijan in the hub were the key agenda items of Borissov's talks in Baku.

Strategic investor for Belene nuclear power project sought

Bulgaria is seeking a strategic investor for its revived Belene nuclear power project on the Danube River, which is estimated to cost at least €10bn (See here). In a statement last Monday, the Bulgarian energy ministry said that it hopes to select an investor in the next year and has asked potential bidders to file letters of interest in the project to build two 1,000 megawatt nuclear reactors.

Bulgaria to get F-16 Block 70 in 2023

The new fighter planes F-16 Block 70 may be delivered to the Bulgarian Air Force in 2023 (See here). The first aircraft of this modern modification is expected to be assembled in the new Lockheed Martin facility the year before that. The plant, which is located in Greenville, South Carolina, is close to becoming operational, with the production lines undergoing testing at this point in time.
 

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