Milkov accuses: Macedonian authorities "mined" Bulgaria's attempts to upgrade relations

The Bulgarian technical minister for foreign affairs Nikolay Milkov spoke at today's press conference in Sofia about relations with Macedonia and accused the Macedonian authorities of undermining attempts to upgrade bilateral relations.

- Many things have been said regarding RSM. You know the position we took on February 4th. From inaction in relation to the repressions against Bulgarian citizens and people with Bulgarian self-awareness, the authorities in the Republic of North Macedonia took action and it was seen what that action was. We cannot but state with deep regret that the attempts to upgrade relations with the RSM were undermined by the authorities in the RSM, who did not allow the tribute to Gotse Delchev. We tried to unfreeze relations, said Milkov.

He, as reported by the Bulgarian media, specified that there were certain commitments, which were not respected by Macedonia.

- Initially, three citizens were allowed to worship at the grave of Gotse Delchev, and after our protest, it was agreed for five people. Then their border entry system went down and didn't work for four hours, but it didn't work in just one direction which shows the whole staging. Those who managed to enter were not allowed to reach the church. None of these people who traveled from Sofia managed to worship in the church. Instead, people were arrested and beaten, explained Milkov.

In front of the journalists in Sofia, he announced that future consultations are planned regarding consular issues and legal assistance, adding that "the RSM did not inform Bulgaria about the detained citizens, although it is obliged according to several conventions, and the Bulgarian state learned about the event from the very citizens who were detained at the border".

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