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President Radev: If Destructive Talk of Politicians in the Republic of North Macedonia Turns into Action, that Country Will Move away from the European Union

2024-05-17 15:47:00

The Republic of North Macedonia should not forget that it is a candidate country for EU membership and cannot set conditions for member states. Nor can it revise international treaties, because this 'brands' the country as a state that does not respect international law. This is what Head of State Rumen Radev told the media in Burgas when asked to comment on the once again exacerbated rhetoric in Skopje regarding Bulgaria.

Radev expects politicians in the Republic of North Macedonia to understand that Bulgaria and Greece, as well as the European Union, insist on respecting international treaties. The negotiating framework must be implemented, which also means the implementation of the bilateral protocols regulating the renunciation of hate speech, the change of textbooks, the rehabilitation of the victims, the respect for Bulgaria's cultural and historical heritage in that country, the President added.

I hope the politicians in North Macedonia have understood that the election campaign is over, and if their destructive talk and behaviour turns into real actions, it means pushing their country towards isolation and away from the EU, which is to the detriment of the country's citizens and the state itself, President Radev said. The Head of State pointed out that he has always extended invitations to his fellow presidents from North Macedonia to visit here because, in his words, the path of North Macedonia's road to Brussels passes through Sofia.

Rumen Radev also expressed his expectation that every Bulgarian politician representing this country at the meetings of the European leaders in Brussels will continue to defend our national interest and the respect of the Copenhagen criteria for membership and the rights of the Bulgarians in the Republic of North Macedonia. Rumen Radev pointed out that when he had attended the European Council meetings during the caretaker governments and when he first raised the issue, the pressure from the other countries was huge in the direction of opening the door for negotiations with North Macedonia immediately. Subsequently, Bulgaria managed to convince all the European leaders and the European institutions that the issue is not bilateral - between Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia - but is European and is about respect for the Copenhagen criteria on human rights and non-discrimination. This, in President Radev's words, has led to the setting of conditions for a change in the constitution of North Macedonia to include the Bulgarians, as well as to protect their rights by adopting the protocols, which would open the door for negotiations. Bulgaria has succeeded and this is now an issue between the EU and the candidate country, Rumen Radev said in conlusion.

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