Bulgaria’s Premier Boyko Borissov Broke Silence on North Macedonia Accession Talks
Bulgaria’s refusal to give approval to the framework of the EU accession negotiations for North Macedonia has nothing to do with our stubbornness, it is a matter of principled stand which reflects the expectations of all Bulgarians – “there are things that our people will not agree with in any event.”
With these words Premier Boyko Borissov broke the one-week silence after his meeting with his Macedonian colleague Zoran Zaev. He commented on the relations with Skopje at the today’s cabinet sitting, a day after Sofia blocked the EU accession talks owing to bilateral controversies.
While the position held by Deputy Premier Ekaterina Zaharieva and IMRO Movement leader Krasimir Karakachanov was known on both sides of the border, Borissov’s reserve in commenting the issue shown in recent months gave hope to the Macedonian politicians that the leaders may find a way out from the deadlock face to face.
Bulgaria has done its utmost not to be the country which says “no” to North Macedonia and has been seeking all possible compromises. “Regrettably, our friends in Skopje did not show any commitment in this respect. They thought that pressure and lobbyism will help them to make Bulgaria change its stand. However, there are thing which our people will not agree with in any event.”
“ We have been extremely well-meaning and concerned and during the talks we held with them always tried to explain where is the limit to our compromises,” the Premier said further and reminded that Bulgaria “would have wished most of all” to see its neighbors and friends from the entire Western Balkan region to become members of the European family.
In his opinion, Bulgaria is ready to go on with the talks but is strongly against the use of “anti-Bulgarian rhetoric.”
Lately, the tone of Skopje has become much harsher after Bulgaria said that there are red lines” in the argument. At the same time the deadline set by PM Borissov in October was extended by one week (until yesterday, 17 November) and a new day was set, * December, the next meeting of the General Affairs Council.
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