Former Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, who signed the 2018 Prespa treaty, condemned Bulgaria for its blocking of Macedonia’s EU accession talks. Even though Greece blocked Macedonia’s integrations for decades, Kotzias said that Bulgarian politicians, especially its Defense Minister Krasimir Karakacanov, are destabilizing the region with their attitude toward Macedonia.

The Bulgarian position on Macedonia is due to the tone given by the far right party in power, represented by the Defense Minister. We already warned the EU that he is engaged in a highly inappropriate policy. I would remind you that while holding the presidency of the European Council, Bulgaria displayed the San Stefano map of Greater Bulgaria, a project of Tsarist Russia. We warned the Europeans about this, Kotzias said, adding that Bulgaria acts like “a Hercules without muscles”.

The map, negotiated at the San Stefano congress in 1878 but never implemented, includes the contemporary Republic of Macedonia and chunks of contemporary Greece in a greatly expanded Bulgarian state.