VMRO-DPMNE Vice President Aleksandar Nikoloski called on Bulgaria to lift its veto and to give guarantees that it will not raise issues over the Macedonian national identity. This, Nikoloski said, will re-assure Macedonians that Bulgaria has no intention to make an issue of Macedonia’s identity.

Bulgaria today formally protested the comparisons made by numerous commentators in Macedonia between its policy of considering the Macedonian nation as historically Bulgarian with the Russian claims that Ukraine is historically Russian.

The Macedonian people has been denied by our stronger and more powerful neighbors. That is the tragedy of the Macedonian people, to be persecuted for centuries, during the Balkan wars, during the Greek Civil War in Aegean Macedonia, and to have the uniqueness of the Macedonian nation, language and church denied, Nikoloski said.

He added that if a neighboring country finds itself called out in what he was discussing during a recent Council of Europe speech, then that country should lift its veto against Macedonia.

There are comparisons being made, just as some claim that Lenin and the Communists created Ukraine and the Ukrainians, so some of our neighbors claim that Tito and the Communist Comintern created Macedonia and the Macedonians. That is absolutely false. We are a state with a clear historic continuity and a nation that is different from all other nations that live in the Balkans. We have our unique national pride, culture and language. Denying the Macedonian nation with claims that we are created by Tito and the Comintern is the worst insult you can make, Nikoloski said.