I do not have one personal and another official position, I will assess our chances for the start of negotiations, after 17 years in which we have been a candidate, at less than 50 percent, President Stevo Pendarovski said in an interview with Euronews.

Pendarovski assessed the relations with neighboring Bulgaria as not as good as they were before.

In other words, they are not as good as they used to be. The two countries were separated for decades during communism. Then Bulgaria with its communist regime, and we-part of communist Yugoslavia. But in the 1990s and after the fall of communism, the frozen situation began to melt. In that sense, the two countries began to communicate better with each other. That communication, compared to other neighboring countries, was not at the level, for various reasons related to history, but still for some time the situation improved. Unfortunately, in recent years Bulgaria has unexpectedly begun to make demands related to history, our ethnic origin, etc. and to everyone’s surprise it put them on the table, said Pendarovski.

Answering the question what is the reason for Bulgaria to continue with those demands, President Pendarovski said:

According to their explanation, they think that in some way they should imitate the Greek attitude towards us in recent decades. They say, do you want to be part of the European Union? Well – we’re inside, you’re outside. And we now have prerequisites for you. Why? To protect their national interest. We protect our national interest and that is the conflict of national interests on both sides. We think we have all the arguments. Because we want to talk about real arguments and criteria that we have met to enter the EU. Not to talk about the 19th century, the 10th century, who were the first to come to the Balkan Peninsula. Unfortunately, they are firmly entrenched in historical issues.