Bulgarian Defense Minister Krasimir Karakacanov called on the Bulgarian representatives in the shared historical commission with Macedonia to be prepared to resign if the Macedonian side continues to reject the notion that Macedonians are in fact Bulgarians. Talks between the historians hit a snag after the two sides could not agree on a shared national narrative about VMRO leader Goce Delcev.

For three days the Skopian side wouldn’t accept the obvious fact that Goce Delcev is a Bulgarian, Karakacanov said, adding that the talks were still “revolving around the notion of a Macedonian and a Bulgarian identity, as if they are two different peoples”.

Under the Zaev – Borisov treaty signed in 2017, Macedonia must agree to review its historic narrative in exchange for Bulgarian approval of its EU and NATO accession.

It’s high time that Bulgaria solidifies its positions, just like the Greek side did, Karakacanov said, asking that the Bulgarian Government stops its support for Macedonia’s EU and NATO accession if Macedonians don’t accept that they are Bulgarians.

Karakacanov insists that the legendary fighter for Macedonian liberation from the Ottoman rule was Bulgarian because he was born in Kukus, a city which had a Bulgarian led church. Kukus is now held by Greece, and besides the concessions Macedonians are expected to keep making, balancing the rival Bulgarian and Greek historic narratives over the Macedonian history may also prove tricky.