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Northern Macedonia Uses EU to Press Sofia, Ivan Kostov Says


Neither the declaration signed by Lyubcho Georgievski, nor the 2017 contract, based on this declaration, is being implemented by Skopje, former Prime Minister Ivan Kostov said.


"Whatever contracts are to be signed, there will be no corresponding effort in Macedonia to implement them and the reason is the serious deficits and dependencies our neighbor has which are inherited from the communist past of the common state of Yugoslavia," the ex-Prime Minister explained to Darik. According to Kostov, the European countries show disinteresting indifference to this problem.

Bulgaria refuses to approve the negotiating framework for EU membership negotiations with Northern Macedonia, which will be considered at the General Affairs Council meeting on November 17th, as the Bulgarian requirements for Skopje have not been reflected in it. To move the process forward, there must be support from all 27 EU member states.

Ivan Kostov is of the opinion that the politicians in Northern Macedonia are trying to put pressure on Sofia through European countries to change our position.

"It's very important to get along. Don't forget it." These words were addressed to the prime ministers of Bulgaria and northern Macedonia, Boyko Borisov and Zoran Zaev by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel after the Berlin Process summit, which was held days ago in Sofia.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Krasimir Karakachanov reiterated the Bulgarian position at a hearing in parliament on Friday. "Bulgaria continues to support the idea of the Western Balkans integration into European structures, but this cannot be done unconditionally in case of non-compliance with the treaties that exist bilaterally between Bulgaria and the Balkan states concerned", Karakachanov said.

He emphasized that no one has pressed the Bulgarian government. The German Presidency has at the moment expressed only the position of being an intermediary, if necessary, for talks between the two parties.

According to a recent Gallup poll, Bulgarian citizens are highly demanding of Northern Macedonia. They support the country's entry into the European Union and they reaffirm their traditionally high-level empathy for the country with which we have a common history. However, the people in our country are keen to first seek a settlement of relations with Skopje before we think of our southwestern neighbor's membership in the EU.

 

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