Around the start of 49th National Assembly, the confessions of Tsvetan Vasilev, defendant for the CCB (Central Cooperative Bank) embezzlement, about his relations with Bulgarian politician Nikolay Malinov, sanctioned by the US authorities under the global Magnitsky Act, remained almost without any response.

In an interview with Mirolyuba Benatova on a cable TV channel, Vasilev, who has been hiding from Bulgarian justice in the Serbian capital Belgrade for nine years, for the first time confessed his relationship with the leader of the native Russophiles, Nikolai Malinov. In fact, Vasilev did much more - he confessed to trying to steal the assets of CCB again after its bankruptcy, again through schemes linked to Russia.

Tsvetan Vasilev's burst of media activity comes against the backdrop of the Prosecution's revelations in recent weeks, placing the bankrupt banker at the center of a large-scale and complex plot to discredit senior magistrates, in particular the Prosecutor General, as well as police officers, and their possible subsequent removal.

There were publications that Vasilev had paid $350,000 to an American lobbyist for the inclusion of Prosecutor No. 1 Ivan Geshev in a U.S. sanctions list, which were not only refuted, but were indirectly confirmed by the fugitive from justice himself.

The possibility that part of the funding with which Tsvetan Vasilev hires new and new lobbyists in the US may also originate in Russia seems to have greatly disturbed the indicted former banker, but instead of refuting the accumulating facts about his closeness to Kremlin oligarchs, he does the opposite with his explanations.

"One or two times Nikolay Malinov", Tsvetan Vasilev told Benatova in an attempt to hurt GERB leader Boyko Borisov, confirming the fact that it is the former banker behind much of the compromising campaigns in recent years. But was Malinov only "once or twice" in Belgrade?

The answer is definitely no. It does not seem serious that Vasilev is trying to distance himself from his good friend to whom he owes his Russian connections.

In the interview with Benatova, Tsvetan Vasilev admitted that in 2014 it was Nikolay Malinov who connected him with the group of the international crooked businessman Pierre Louvrier, who tried to seize the assets of the  collapsed pyramid CCB for 1 euro. This means that Malinov is among the few Bulgarians who were in the Serbian capital immediately after the fugitive from justice was established there.

Nine years ago, it became known that Louvrier's goal was to divert the assets of CCB to a group of Russian oligarchs, led by the Orthodox oligarch Konstantin Malofeev.

According to Nikolai Malinov's own admissions, it was he who introduced Vasilev to Malofeev. The Russian is on US and EU sanctions lists, has a 10-year ban on entering Bulgaria and is apparently considered close to the Kremlin's closest leadership. In the past year alone, Malofeev has met at least twice in Moscow with Nikolai Malinov, both of them attending events hosted by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The only thing that Tsvetan Vasilev failed to admit is that thanks to these contacts he has been residing in Serbia undisturbed for nine years.

A candidate country for EU membership, but after Belarus, the second country on the Old Continent that continues to cooperate with Vladimir Putin's regime.

Tsvetan Vasilev is fully aware that his closeness to NikolayMalinov may have helped him, but it is now proving counterproductive, especially to his attempts to engage the attention of the US authorities. Because of this, in his interview, the defendant for the CCB embezzlement tried to distance himself from the comrade to whom he owes his Russian contacts. Like the well-known in nature tail-ripping in some reptiles.

In this case, however, the attempt failed for a completely different reason. Vasilev and Malinov were close enough long before the Pharaoh became the subject of an investigation. The Russophile Malinov was one of Vasilev's frequent guests at the CCB office on "Tsar Boris the Third" Blvd., according to the security notebook, which became public years ago.

The time Malinov was a frequent guest of Vasilev coincides with the moment when the Russian state-owned foreign trade bank VTB acquired almost 10% of the shares of CCB, which dates back to early 2013. After all, Malinov's visits to Belgrade were hardly one or two, as Tsvetan Vasilev claims.

The two probably met dozens of times in the times when, through the CCB pyramid, today's bankrupt pharaoh was trying to control the entire political scene.

Today, Tsvetan Vasilev tries to ignore this fact, presenting it as a true business, but this is far from the case. The timing of VTB's entry into CCB coincides with Vasilev's attempt to play an important role in Bulgaria's internal political processes ten years ago.

Vasilev's attempt to break the Russian tail can be explained by the US Treasury Department's inclusion of Nikolai Malinov on the Magnitsky sanctions list on 10 February this year.

More than two months ago, they very clearly announced that Malinov was sanctioned precisely because of his ties with Moscow. According to the officially disseminated information, the Russophile bribed a Bulgarian judge who allowed him to travel to Moscow, despite accusations of espionage in favor of Russia by the Bulgarian Prosecutor's Office, where he received personally from Russian President Vladimir Putin an order and a cash reward of 2.5 million rubles.

It is frivolous to even comment on Vasilev's attempt to explain how his friend Malinov was in fact a product of the Bulgarian services and prosecution. After all, it was the Prosecutor’s Office that sued him for espionage in favor of Russia, and on this basis the Russophile was eventually sanctioned by the US.

Against this background Vasilev confirms the facts first reported in the media that he hired four new lobbyists in the US last year. Unconvincing was the attempt to deny that it was on the basis of his manipulative statements and outright lies that US Congressman Warren Davidson was misled to issue a letter against Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev.

Significantly, Vasilev did not outright deny another fact reported by the media, that he had paid $350,000 to an American lobbyist for a campaign to discredit Bulgaria's Prosecutor General among the members of the US House of Representatives.

Vasilev's concern is understandable - the US services are aware that he is in Belgrade because of his proximity to the Kremlin. At the same time, the money he is paying for legal services in Washington is significant, and there is no effect.

After all, the US government administration would not want to put itself in the position of promoting the interests of defendants in their own countries who are very likely to receive funding through Russian oligarchs and proxies to erode the Euro-Atlantic path of a country like Bulgaria. Because of this, Vasilev's attempts to cut ties with his recent past are rather fruitless, as his efforts to deceive US authorities will ultimately prove to be.