As evidence of the exceptionally bad state of relations between Macedonia and Bulgaria, President Stevo Pendarovski said that he hasn’t seen or spoken to his Bulgarian counterpart Rumen Radev since last year, and the last talk that could be qualified as “constructive” took place two years ago.

Both Pendarovski and Prime Ministers Zaev and Kovacevski embarked on a policy which they said will improve relations with Bulgaria but failed spectacularly as their willingness to make concessions on historic issues was seen as weakness by Bulgaria and led to a stream of new demands. Radev in particular is a nationalist on the Macedonian issue.

It takes two to tango. Objectively, Bulgaria made a number of provocations toward us in the past two years and made arguments to justify its blockade of our EU accessions that is unprecedented in EU history. No EU country has ever blocked another country with the claim that “you are not what you think you are”, Pendarovski said.

He warned that public opposition to further concessions to Bulgaria is growing, and explained this with the opening of Bulgarian clubs named after Nazi collaborators.