Skopje, 13 September 2020 (MIA) – Bulgaria will not veto and block the first intergovernmental conference of North Macedonia with the EU, former Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev has said commenting recent remarks by Defence Minister Krasimir Karakachanov and MEP Andrey Kovatchev.
“I don’t think it will happen. Bulgaria has always supported North Macedonia on its road to peaceful, democratic and European prosperity,” Plevneliev said in an interview with TV24.
Bulgaria when was at the helm of the EU presidency, he said, had paved the EU integration way of the Western Balkans countries.
“Bulgaria was the first country that recognized Macedonia. We share brotherly relations. Some politicians can say whatever they decide to say, but the truth is that Bulgaria is a great advocate for the neighbors. We want prosperity, which is possible only as part of the EU,” stressed Plevneliev.
During the interview, he said he was confident North Macedonia wouldn’t face a blockade from Sofia in December. The former president, however, stressed that the Goce Delchev issue had to be solved.
Angel Dimitrov, who heads the Bulgarian team at the commission for historical issues, has told Bulgaria’s national radio station that the unsolved issue between North Macedonia and Bulgaria is not only a bilateral but also a European dispute.
He called on the members of the Macedonian team to inform North Macedonia’s political elite ‘correctly and objectively’ about the work of the commission.
Last week, Minister Karakachanov said that Sofia could block Skopje’s intergovernmental conference with the EU unless the joint commission of historians reached an agreement.
Echoing the same sentiment, MEP Kovatchev has said that the opening of talks for joining the EU depended on Skopje’s moves. In a statement for BGNES news agency, he said Macedonia lacked will to make progress.
North Macedonia’s leadership has said that it doesn’t expect Bulgaria to block the start of EU negotiations. Skopje expects the negotiating framework to be released soon and the intergovernmental conference, which marks the opening of negotiations, to take place by the end of the year.