11.07.2021 – 21:42
Northern Macedonia expects a change in Sofia’s policy following Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Bulgaria.
In November last year, Bulgaria, as a member of the European Union, used its veto on northern Macedonia, blocking the start of EU membership talks.
Sofia initially seeks to resolve disputes over the Macedonian language, identity and other historical aspects, claiming they are of Bulgarian origin.
The Prime Minister of Northern Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, has said that despite the strong stance of the Bulgarian officials, he expects a change in their policy towards Northern Macedonia.
“This time we expect a functioning Parliament and Political Government to emerge from the elections to get the green light, ie to unblock Northern Macedonia on the road to the EU. Personally, I think I addressed all the important issues in the bilateral talks on June 17, when I visited Bulgaria. “The Bulgarian Parliament remains to be elected, so that there is hope that a decision will be made to unblock the integration process,” Zaev said.
But Bulgarian President Rumen Radev said on Sunday that the resolution of the dispute depends on northern Macedonia.
“We expect our friends from Northern Macedonia, the country’s top leadership to lift the blockade itself. It is not ours, we expect real and sustainable results, to read the Copenhagen criteria for membership, to change textbooks. “We have been waiting for this for four years now, since the signing of the agreement in 2017,” Radev stated.
VMRO DPMNE, Macedonia’s main opposition party, rejects any compromise with Bulgaria on identity issues, and demands that the “red lines” be formalized in a resolution it has submitted to the Assembly for a vote.
“We have to wait and see what the results will be in Bulgaria. We demand that the resolution proposed by VMRO-DPMNE be voted on in Parliament as soon as possible, because it will put us on the right track, ie. will determine the necessary postulates for the further functioning of our foreign policy “, stated the spokesperson of VMRO DPMNE, Dimce Arsovski.
Opinion polls, released ahead of Bulgaria’s election, show the winner of the “There is such a people” party, led by TV presenter Slavi Trifonov.
In relation to Northern Macedonia, he pursues an even stronger policy than former Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov’s GERB party.