Borissov described himself as “Bulgaria’s biggest asset”
“We must continue to walk a fine line between being used by Borisov’s publicity machine and alienating an exceptionally popular and seemingly pro-American politician who may emerge as Bulgaria’s next leader. In other words, we should continue to push him in the right direction, but never forget who we’re dealing with.”This is the conclusion of a diplomatic report dedicated to now Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, sent by former US Ambassador to Sofia,Jonh Beyrle on May 9, 2006. The report’s confidentiality level is listed as SECRET/NOT FOR FOREIGNERS, only one level below the highest TOP SECRET – cables classified as TOP SECRET are not available to Wikileaks.The reasons for classifying the report are coded as 1.5 (b,d), meaning confidential sources have been used in its preparation.The cable has another characteristic – from a total of 978 reports sent from Sofia, there are just a few that have been checked and approved simultaneously by the Embassy’s political, military and security advisors, not just Ambassador Beyrle.
This is how Beyrle titled the section focusing on Boyko Borisov’s criminal past. Incidentally, the paragraph has the "lucky" number 13, while in the brackets, after 13, the level of confidentiality is purposely listed as SECRET/NOFOR, which corresponds to the highest level of classified information for this cable."13. (S/NF) Accusations in years past have linked Borisov to oil-siphoning scandals, illegal deals involving LUKoil and major traffic in methamphetamines. Information from SIMO tends to substantiate these allegations. Borisov is alleged to have used his former position as head of Bulgarian law enforcement to arrange cover for criminal deals, and his common-law wife, Tsvetelina Borislavova, manages a large Bulgarian bank that has been accused of laundering money for organized criminal groups, as well as for Borisov's own illegal transactions. Borisov is saidto have close social and business ties to influential Mafia figures, including Mladen Mihalev (AKA "Madzho"), and is a former business partner of OC figure Roumen Nikolov (AKA "the Pasha")."In their desire to downplay the American diplomats’ reports, those affected point out these are simply rumors, pedantically registered by diligent clerks at the Embassy. But in this case, we have something far more serious: the collective work of nearly the entire diplomatic team, citing the mysterious SIMO, confirming information about Borisov’s participation in serious criminal activities.A check of the Wikileaks site where about 13000 cables have been published so far, found only 4 mention of SIMO. According to the context,SIMO appears to be an agency related to the security and information domains, participating in theLegal Enforcement Commette eof the Ambassador, together with other known US agencies such as DEA.The second paragraph in the "Dirt" section focuses on ties between Borisov and Valentin Zlatev, CEO of Lukoil, Bulgaria."14. (S/NF) Borisov has close financial and political ties to LUKoil Bulgaria Director Valentin Zlatev, a vastly influential kingmaker and behind-the-scenes power broker. Borisov's loyalty (and vulnerability) to Zlatev play a major role in his political decision making. The Mayor hasengaged LUKoil in a number of public-private partnerships since taking office: LUKoil has agreed to donate asphalt for the repair of city streets,take on the upkeep of a Soviet Army monument, and finance construction of low-income housing. In a reciprocal gesture, Borisov has advocated using municipal land to develop new LUKoil stations. Though this may seem a significant quid-pro-quo, Borisov's public agreement swith LUKoil are only side deals in his much deeper and broader business relationship with Zlatev, which has been reported in other channels."Valentin Zlatev is also mentioned in the notorious cable, dedicated to organized crime in Bulgaria, sent by former US Ambassador, James Pardew: "LUKOIL’s representative in Bulgaria is VALENTIN ZLATEV... Lukoil's Bulgarian operations, through Zlatev, are suspected of strong ties to Russian intelligence and organized crime."The cable further reveals that Borisov makes discrete visits to the Russian Embassy, all while seeking recognition and public support from theUS for his political ambition