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Bulgaria threatens FYROM with NATO/EU veto over language

The Foreign Ministry in Skopje has responded to Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and VMRO party leader Krassimir Karakachanov's threat to block the former Yugoslav republic's path to the EU and Nato if its Prime Minister Zoran Zaev continues to claim the Prespa Treaty recognises a "Macedonian language".

Words such as those by Karakachanov could reate negative attitudes and hostility instead of friendship, the Foreign Ministry said.

"The Republic of Macedonia 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 Foreign Ministry in Skopje said.

Karakachanov, in a statement issued by VMRO on December 8, had advised Zaev not to "misuse" the topic of the Macedonian language.

The VMRO leader accused the representatives of the former Yugoslav republic on the joint commission with Bulgaria on shared history of wanting to "validate a false version of history".

Karakachanov said that 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".

He said 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 be added to the bilateral good-neighbourliness treaty specifiying this.

If this was refused, he would oppose Bulgaria's support for the neighbouring country joining Nato and the EU, he said.