More information about Bulgaria is available on the Bulgaria Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The United States established diplomatic relations with Bulgaria in 1903. Bulgarian national Asen Kermekchiev (later Ace Kermek) was the first American Consular Agent in Bulgaria. A businessman, physician, and journalist, Kermekchiev served the United States Government even while working as a field doctor for Bulgaria in the First Balkan War and was praised for protecting American lives and property while at the front. He also founded the first American Chamber of Commerce in Sofia. Bulgaria was allied with Germany in World War II and became a satellite of the Soviet Union at the war’s end. As Bulgaria emerged from communism in the 1990s, the United States moved to encourage development of multi-party democracy and a market economy.
Bulgaria is a reliable ally in an area of strategic importance to the United States. The United States and Bulgaria maintain shared use of several Bulgarian military facilities through the U.S.-Bulgarian Defense Cooperation Agreement, which came into force in 2006. In October 2020, the United States and Bulgaria signed a 10-year “Roadmap for Defense Cooperation,” establishing a framework to strengthen our joint commitment to mutual defense. Bulgaria is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and European Union (EU), and participates in coalition operations, including in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Bosnia.
We work closely with the government of Bulgaria in strengthening the rule of law, have strong cooperation in law enforcement, and are helping Bulgaria diversify its sources of energy.
U.S. Assistance to Bulgaria
The United States supported Bulgaria’s political and economic development from the early 1990s to Bulgaria’s accession to the EU in 2007. During this transformative period, USAID invested more than $700 million towards development of Bulgaria’s energy sector, banking and financial institutions, and civil society.
U.S. government investment in military education, training, and modernization helps create stronger, more effective Bulgarian military units that can deploy alongside U.S. forces when needed. The United States provides security assistance to bolster Bulgaria’s cyber defense capabilities and NATO interoperability.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Bulgaria is a member of the European Union. Upon its accession to the EU, the country adopted regulations and standards that conform to EU norms. U.S. companies conduct business in Bulgaria across the major industry sectors, especially in information and communication technology. The United States and Bulgaria have treaties on avoidance of double taxation and bilateral investment.
Bulgaria’s Membership in International Organizations
Bulgaria and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Bulgaria is a member of the Three Seas Initiative, which enjoys strong support from the United States. Bulgaria also is an observer to the Organization of American States.
Principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.
Bulgaria maintains an embassy in the United States at 1621 22nd St., NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel: 202-387-0174).
More information about Bulgaria is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here: