Bulgarian President Rumen Radev is reconsidering whether to meet with his Macedonian counterpart Stevo Pendarovski, after Pendarovski met with representatives of Macedonians from Bulgaria. Radev was widely expected to come to Skopje, on the back of the two meetings between prime ministers Kovacevski and Petkov, but now he says that Petkov’s initiative came too soon and labeled the representatives Pendarovski met as “separatists”.

Unfortunately, the actions of their President do not contribute toward the much desired progress of the Republic of (North) Macedonia toward the EU. Claims of reciprocity in minority rights are counter-productive. The Macedonian Bulgarians are fighting for equality that will be guaranteed in the Constitution, and for full integration in the public life of that country. That is completely different from the separatist claims espoused by the people President Pendarovski met with, Radev said.

He warned Petkov to be careful not to send new positive messages to Macedonia, since they can be misunderstood as readiness from Bulgaria to compromise on its demands.