Bulgaria threatens to block FYROM from EU and NATO over “Macedonian language” comment



Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and VMRO party leader Krassimir Karakachanov has threatened to block FYROM’s path to the EU and NATO if its Prime Minister Zoran Zaev continues to claim the Prespa Agreement with Greece recognises a "Macedonian language".

Karakachanov is protesting Zaev’s words to Skopje's parliament, in which he insisted that the historic agreement between Greece and FYROM had clarified the existence of a separate “Macedonian language” an idea that Bulgaria has long disputed.

The Bulgarian Ministry on Monday warned of the danger of making “a similar counter-response that would create a chain of negative reactions that will separate us [FYROM and Bulgaria] and will create hostility instead of friendship."

In response, Skopje's Foreign Ministry said, "FYROM will continue its active, constructive and good neighbourly policy in the future in the spirit of the Treaty with Bulgaria and the European values."

The Bulgarian Defence Minister told Bulgarian National Television, BNT on Monday that since the Good Neighbour Agreement was signed in August 2017, FYROM had continued to “play tricks … falsify history and to force a “Macedonian identity and language” not only within FYROM but also on Bulgarian territory”.

Karakachanov said he could not accept "people with unclear views and with an inverted reading of the history to slip into NATO and the EU, on the back and at the expense of Bulgaria and historical justice, least of all by pushing the “Macedonian language” behind the scenes."

The Defence Minister also added that unless the joint historical commission acknowledged that up to 1944, the Republic of Macedonia and Republic of Bulgaria had a shared history, he would insist that an annex is added to the bilateral good-neighbourliness treaty.

“Our Macedonian language will be taught at schools across Greece,” says FYROM PM Zaev