The fight against corruption in Romania has slowed down at the benefit of those who are targeted by it, US Ambassador to Romania Nicholas Taubman said in an interview for He said "big fish" should go behind bar as well, not only the small ones, because all must be equal before law no matter how much influence or money one has.

He said in the interview that the United States do all their best to help Romania prepare to join the Visa Waiver Program. The Ambassador admits that not all those applying for visa receive an explanation when their applications are rejected, but they can apply again, should they comply with all the terms.

The US does not plan to open consular offices in other large cities in Romania, he said.

In the case of Teo Peter - a Romanian rock band member who was killed in a car crash in Bucharest by a US staff who only received a symbolic penalty - Ambassador Taubman said results should soon be available.

Speaking about economic relations between Romania and the US, he said American business people were interested in investing in Romania but were looking for the certainty of a corruption-free business environment.

Speaking about another controversial issue in bilateral relations, the construction of a major motorway in central and eastern Romania by US company Bechtel, he said the costs of the works are in line with the terms of the contract in this regard between the Romanian Government and Bechtel. The costs of the works - which rose dramatically from about 2 billion to 5 billion euro - have been subject of many a media controversy over the past several years.

He said that since coming to Romania almost three years ago, he's been surprised by the speed of the economy and the fast pace of change, the sophistication of the Government, elections and Romanians as a whole.

He said that after decades of communism Romania has yet to exploit its potential to a full - and it has the biggest potential in the Balkans in his opinion.

Full interview in Romanian