The acceleration of the European perspective for the Republic of North Macedonia depends only on the commitment and the results of the dialogue with Bulgaria. This was stated by President Rumen Radev before the start of the European Council in Brussels.
“I want to focus on the agenda that all the European institutions and leaders have been waiting for and which we have managed to remove at the last minute from today’s agenda. There are reasons and history for this. “In the last month and a half, Bulgaria has come under incredible pressure from its European partners, namely the current European Council, to start negotiations for the accession of the Republic of North Macedonia,” the head of state said.
He recalled that the last council in May found Bulgaria isolated, finger-pointing and accused of blocking talks with Νorth Macedonia and Albania.
“The caretaker government has made great efforts to cover the years when our partners were never able to hear a significant Bulgarian position at a high level,” Radev said.
In this context, the President has held numerous personal meetings and talks with the leaders of the European institutions, the European Parliament, the European Commission, the European Council, the Presidents and Prime Ministers, the EU Commissioners, the High Representative and the US Secretary of State.
“I think they understand that the accusations against Bulgaria are baseless. That we have a clear position to find a way out of this problem and that we maintain reliable guarantees, in sustainable and irreversible results in bilateral relations. “It’s time to step out of family diplomacy in front of the cameras and focus on realistic solutions,” Radev said.
According to him, for a month and a half Bulgaria has proved, despite the pressure on us, that it is a responsible member of the EU and will not allow new problems to be introduced in the Union.
“Let us not be naive. We have now managed not only to put this issue on the agenda, but also to reject the pressure to link the start of negotiations for the participation of the Republic of North Macedonia to a timetable and deadlines, but for now. The pressure will continue. We have shown that we can be open to constructive dialogue and not only – that we can start the dialogue and lead to its thawing at the highest level “, said Radev and stressed:” We will not leave our hands confused with the lobbies, with means information and political pressure “.
The head of state insists that Sofia complies with the criteria for membership in Copenhagen and can not ignore the discrimination of citizens in Νorth Macedonia, simply because they identify themselves as Bulgarians, which is contrary to European values and principles.
“There is no way we can say ‘yes’ before we see viable mechanisms to eliminate the distortion of history and the deliberate attitude towards Bulgaria – from books, museums, media monuments and state policy. “We cannot say ‘yes’ until we are convinced that our neighbor will not build his identity by stealing Bulgarian history,” Radev said.
He said Bulgaria remains open to rapid, effective bilateral talks in the interests of the citizens of both countries.
“But it is time for everyone to understand that the acceleration of the European perspective for our nearest country depends only on the commitment and the results of the dialogue with Bulgaria,” Radev said categorically./ibna