President Stevo Pendarovski accused Bulgaria of violating the 2017 Zaev – Borisov treaty after its Defense Minister Krasimir Karakacanov used the map of Greater Bulgaria in his International Women’s Day message. Karakacanov congratulated women on their holiday using the image of a mother cradling her baby, imposed over a map of Greater Bulgaria that includes all of Macedonia, including parts of Greece, as well as parts of Serbia and Turkey.

Regarding these statements coming from Sofia, President Pendarovski would like to point out that they represent open violations of the Treaty of good-neighborly relations and undermine the trust between our two countries and peoples. These steps are in violation of the basic principles and value sof NATO, where both countries are full members, Pendarovski’s office said in a statement.

Karakacanov, leader of the nationalist VMRO-BND party, has previously declared that Macedonia should be absorbed into Bulgaria and considers Macedonians to be “Bulgarians in denial”.