Bulgarian acting Foreign Minister Nikolay Milkov is using his meetings at the European Council in Brussels today to push for support over the latest round of incidents with Macedonia. Bulgaria demands accountability from Macedonia after a Bulgarian activist from Ohrid was badly beaten last week.

I informed my colleagues about what happened in Ohrid, and the broader context. It’s not just about this incident, there is an escalation of tensions and of pressures against the Bulgarian community there. It started with the adoption of a package of legal repression over the Bulgarian community and its right to association, which showed a tremendous consensus between the ruling party and the opposition on anti-Bulgarian grounds. This is a very serious sign, since the ruling party and the opposition there don’t agree on many issues. This was followed by the arson attack on the Bulgarian club in Bitola, which merited only a suspended sentence, and three other attacks on Bulgarian clubs, where the perpetrators were never found, Milkov said.

Bulgaria protests the adoption of a law that bans clubs from using Nazi symbols and honoring Nazi collaborators. The two clubs in question – Vanco Mihajlov in Bitola and Tsar Boris III in Ohrid, are named after people who collaborated with the Nazis.