Borissov: North Macedonia can count on Bulgaria for the EU

We have always said that North Macedonia can count on Bulgaria for the EU, but we have never said that we unconditionally support country’s EU accession. The future of North Macedonia is in the EU and they should not miss the opportunity, said Bulgaria’s PM Boyko Borissov following the consultative meeting convened by President Rumen Radev that was attended by FM Ekaterina Zaharieva and Defence Minister Krasimir Karakachanov.

“Up until yesterday, we were saying that we are fraternal nations, let not the propaganda of fratricidal war continue in Skopje, because we have no closer people. To block North Macedonia on the road to the EU, it will be recorded in the history that all 27 EU member states supported them, and only Bulgaria blocked them. We also want Albania along with North Macedonia to open EU accession talks. However, we have never said that we unconditionally support country’s EU accession. There are 71 negotiable instruments available in the chapters. They should not play with history and the past and to focus on the future,” Borissov said.

Moreover, Karakachanov following the meeting and several days ago, said that Bulgaria cannot unconditionally support North Macedonia and should set very clear conditions. He also considers that the best option would be for North Macedonia and Albania together to open EU accession negotiations.

“We are absolutely unanimous that despite certain progress achieved by the Joint Multidisciplinary Commission of Experts on Historical Issues between the two countries, things are not satisfactory, and the reason for this is Skopje’s policy of delaying and buying time. We agreed that support cannot be unconditional,” Karakachanov said.

“A swift solution to the open issues with Bulgaria is possible. We have signed an agreement in which we accepted the fact over our common history. Of course, a portion of that history is individual for both countries and therefore I believe the committee will find a solution”, said Prime Minister Zoran Zaev on Monday.

“The committee is comprised of experts and it has been established to define things. We would like to see bold steps, steps based on facts and truth, and we are urging for a solution. I believe Bulgaria should also demonstrate will as we have done,” PM Zaev told reporters.

He added that the currently discussed chapter of history would be overcome, with four periods in history already settled, including 6-7 individuals from those times that the two countries have agreed to jointly celebrate.

“We have shown through the friendship treaty that we want cooperation with Bulgaria and we will continue on this path. I believe the history chapter currently debated will be overcome. Our objective is to enhance friendship and good-neighborly relations. I expect a solution. Bulgaria is one of our biggest champions in the EU and I believe it will demonstrate this in the decision to open the accession negotiations for North Macedonia after 15 years as candidate. There is no need for concern, we are receiving the alarm and messages from Bulgaria. The committees are already working, we will hold other meetings and highlight that the ultimate goal is for both sides to be satisfied from the solution,” underlined Zaev.