Bulgaria to North Macedonia: Stop the Repression against Macedonian Bulgarians and Apologize
"We expect a country that is a candidate for membership in the European Union to effectively protect all its citizens. Instead, we are witnessing attempts to silence the voices of Macedonian Bulgarians by raising baseless accusations against them, by pressuring them with lawsuits, by their demonization in the media and especially on social networks."
This was stated by the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ivan Kondov, at a briefing on the latest events in Bulgaria's relations with North Macedonia.
"Other commitments undertaken by Skopje and even elementary gestures of goodwill, such as the agreed apology to the Bulgarians repressed by the communist regime there or the opening of the archives of the state repressive apparatus from the period before 1991, have not been fulfilled", recalled the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry.
Ivan Kondov also recalled the case of May 6, when the Bulgarian member of the European Parliament Andrey Kovachev, the chairman of the "Bulgarian Memory" Foundation Milen Vrabevski and other Bulgarian citizens were not allowed on the territory of North Macedonia for the traditional pilgrimage to the Bulgarian military cemetery in Novo Selo.
In the notices handed to the Bulgarian citizens by the border authorities, it was stated that they appear on a prohibition list in the border system of the neighboring country.
"It made an impression that the explanation of the ambassador of the Republic of North Macedonia in our country and the announcement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Skopje differ from the official documents handed over by the border authorities," emphasized Ivan Kondov.
He called the thesis, that Andrey Kovachev was "an indirect victim via other persons" who posed a threat to public order, completely untenable.
The Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will inform "all European partners about this unprecedented act, which does not coincide with Skopje's declared intention to work for good neighborly relations and to fulfill its commitments. Official letters to the European institutions from the Presidency, the National Assembly and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs."
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