Former Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov responded with mockery to the outcome of new PM Kiril Petkov’s visit to Macedonia. Petkov and his host, Dimitar Kovacevski, announced that they have agreed to resolve one of the Bulgarian objections raised block Macedonia’s opening of its EU accession talks.
Bulgaria insisted that the name “North Macedonia”, imposed on Macedonia in 2018 by Greece, constitutes a possible territorial claim on the province of Pirin Macedonia, or Blagoevgradska Oblast. So Kovacevski sent out a statement to the United Nations, notifying them that Macedonia does not have territorial claims toward Bulgaria, and in response, Bulgaria lifted its objection against the use of the shorter version of the imposed name “North Macedonia”. Originally, Bulgaria insisted that the full imposed name “Republic of North Macedonia” is used in all circumstances. It’s one of the lesser issues that Bulgaria raised with Macedonia as in likely the easiest to resolve.
Borisov was not impressed. “I slept peacefully, after learning that Macedonia will not attack Bulgaria and has no territorial claims. Sleep calmly, Bansko remains Bulgarian and you can all go skiing”, Borisov said, mentioning the popular ski resort on Mt. Pirin.
Borisov added that he never had a Macedonian politician raise territorial claims before him in the past, further insisting that Petkov accomplished next to nothing during his first visit to Macedonia. Borisov accused Petkov for not visiting the grave of Goce Delcev, the legendary VMRO leader and Apostle of Macedonian national liberation, who is claimed by Bulgaria as a Bulgarian hero. His remains were returned to Macedonia by Bulgaria after the Second World War, in accordance with Delcev’s wish to lay to rest in the capital of the Macedonian state. But more recently, as the dispute between the two countries became more heated, the Bulgarian right resorted to accusing the left of treason for giving Delcev’s body away. Bulgarian politicians obligatory visit the church of St. Spas, just under the Skopje Kale fortress, where Delcev is buried, and these visits sometimes cause protests and controversies.