Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva condemned Zoran Zaev for his announcement that he will reintroduce Serbian language studies in elementary schools. “Macedonia clearly hasn’t severed ties with Serbia”, she said.

Bulgaria and Serbia had fought for influence over Macedonia for over a century and Bulgaria thinks its has the upper hand now that it is in the European Union and can block Macedonia’s accession talks. After independence, Macedonia has greatly reduced the, until them mandatory, teaching of Serbian language but Zaev now announced its limited return.

The Macedonianism is a geo-political idea created by Belgrade and Moscow. I am sadly not surprised by this move by the Macedonian authorities. The return of the Serbian language means that all parties in Macedonia, despite their political differences, are united on this issue and on the relations with Bulgaria. This is proof of their rapprochement with Serbia, Zaharieva said.