The Bulgarian Embassy in Macedonia asked Republika to correct an article on the statements made by Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva and Defense Minister Krasimir Karakacanov, published on June 11th under the title “Top Bulgarian Government Ministers tell Macedonia it will not join EU and NATO unless it acknowledges that Macedonians are Bulgarians”.

We want to emphasize that the title and the first sentence of the article are a complete lie. Deputy Prime Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva has not only always protected the Euro-Atlantic integration of the Republic of North Macedonia, but under her presidency, the European Council agreed to approve the opening of the procedure to begin accession talks on June 16th 2018. Ekaterina Zaharieva is one of the 13 foreign ministers of EU member states who signed a joint statement calling on their other colleagues to support the opening of negotiations with the Republic of North Macedonia and the Republic of Albania in June 2019. The Republic of North Macedonia is under an obligation to maintain the principles of good neighborly relations and the Treaty on friendship, good neighborly relations and cooperation with the Republic of Bulgaria and we will continue to follow closely these conditions during the entire negotiating process, the Bulgarian Embassy said.

For clarity, Republika republished the statements made by Zaharieva and by Defense Minister Krasmir Karakacanov, in two separate articles.