VMRO-DPMNE President Hristijan Mickoski addressed the public after the publication of an interview Zoran Zaev gave with the Bulgarian BGNES news agency, in which he gave away a number of strategic positions of national identity and on historic issues. In the interview, Zaev praised Bulgaria for liberating much of Macedonia at the end of the World War Two and referred to its prior occupation as “some administration”, and blurred the distinction between the two nations.

I carefully listened to Zaev’s interview with a Bulgarian news outlet, which is obviously a clumsy attempt to endear himself to the Bulgarian public and to prepare the Macedonian public. Zaev puts forward positions that can seriously undermine our negotiating positions and the European future of Macedonia. Zaev claimed that the 2017 treaty with Bulgaria is perfectly sufficient. I warned taht there is a request from Bulgaria that we sign a new treaty, or rather an annex, to specify their requests. As time goes by, it’s becoming clear that the pale denials from Zaev and Foreign Minister Osmani that there is no such request are becoming ever more baseless and now they accept such addition to the treaty, and Zaev confirmed it in this interview. Further, in this scandalous interview Zaev denies the anti-fascist struggle of our citizens and our right to evoke this heritage. He posits that here we had a Bulgarian “administration” and draws no distinction between the Macedonian fighters, the fighters for an independent Macedonian state who fought the fascist occupier in the Second World War and this fascist occupier. Zaev claims that Skopje, Kumanovo and Kriva Palanka were liberated and not occupied in the war. This interview can also be seen as the first step toward renouncing the Macedonian minority that lives within the borders of our eastern neighbor, which will cancel out all the international verdicts from institutions such as the Strasbourg court – verdicts that remain ignored by our neighbor. I’m also seriously concerned with the tendency to change the character of Macedonian heroes which constitutes an assault on Macedonian history. I appeal before it is too late, Mickoski said during an urgently scheduled press conference.

The opposition leader called on the public to closely follow the on-going negotiations Zaev is conducting with Bulgaria and to be ready to respond if its outcome touches on the Macedonian identity.

I warn the government not to do so, because if they do, they will face the wrath of the Macedonian people. Carefully follow the events in the coming days, what Zaev is negotiating and what he is prepared to do, and if he insults the Macedonian identity in any way, we need to stop him, Mickoski said.