Bulgarian PM: Bulgaria has Not Promised a Date for lifting the Veto for North Macedonia
Bulgaria has not promised a specific date for lifting the veto on the start of negotiations for the membership of the Republic of North Macedonia in the EU, Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said in Blagoevgrad.
The Joint Commission for Clarification of Disputed Historical Issues between Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia has made great progress and this will be known soon, said the Prime Minister, but did not name an agreement on Bulgarian King Samuel, whom our neighbors recognize as part of their history.
The Prime Minister gave a briefing to journalists on Macedonia Square in Blagoevgrad, where the monument to Gotse Delchev is located.
“The historical commission is the only one that can give the two governments which of the historical figures they have agreed on and which of the historical facts can now be accepted as common, so I expect the historical commissions to come out soon. As far as I know, the progress is huge.”
A specific date for the lifting of the Bulgarian veto against the Republic of North Macedonia for the start of accession negotiations with the EU has not been mentioned:
“So this is not the case with calendars! We have clear things that need to be done: When will we open the archives; for hate speech, what have we done; what will we put into the European negotiating framework that the European Union, which are important for us, when will the Constitution of the Republic of North Macedonia include the rights of Bulgarians”.
With a change in the Constitution of the RNM, guaranteeing the rights of Bulgarians there, Kiril Petkov explained the results of the census in our southwestern neighbor, according to which only 3504 citizens identified themselves as Bulgarians, against nearly 87,000, declared their Bulgarian origin and received Bulgarian citizenship:
“The only way to have real censuses, which will be respected by all Bulgarians in the Republic of North Macedonia, is when Bulgarian rights have entered into the collective rights of the Constitution. Most likely in the next census, there will be a separate box where one can say ‘Bulgarian’. It's not there right now, but we need to work together to change that.”
Speaking to reporters in Blagoevgrad, Petkov confirmed that he expects a compromise between Sofia and Skopje to be announced soon for two important historical figures.
There is no chance in the coming months to lower the prices of energy, and hence of all products and services, said the Prime Minister at a briefing in Blagoevgrad, hinting that the Russian president drained all gas from the pipes last year and raised the price of electricity. The only salvation is for the European Union to become a common player and a common buyer of energy on the world market, the prime minister added.
Yesterday, in front of the visiting EU Commissioner for Enlargement Oliver Verheij, Prime Minister Petkov said that Bulgaria adheres to its position on North Macedonia, and pointed out Sofia's new approach to Skopje for dialogue not only on historical issues. Bulgaria expects concrete steps such as constitutional recognition of Bulgarians in North Macedonia and the elimination of hate speech, President Rumen Radev said at a meeting with EU Enlargement and Good Neighborhood Commissioner Oliver Verheij.
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