The interim head of the Embassy of North Macedonia in Bulgaria, Vladimir Krastevski, was summoned to the Bulgarian foreign ministry, where he was handed a protest note following an incident with a Bulgarian flag in Bitola.
On Saturday, the Bulgarian authorities found damage to the pylon and removal of the Bulgarian flag, placed next to the office of the Service for Trade and Economic Affairs at the Consulate General of the country in Bitola.
The foreign ministry said it had expressed deep outrage at the incident, emphasising that any action, expression of hatred against another state or its citizens, contradicts the fundamental values of modern democratic societies and hinders the establishment of good neighbourly relations.
North Macedonia’s foreign ministry reacted in a timely fashion and strongly condemned the act of vandalism. It also committed to leading an investigation into the matter and bringing the perpetrators to justice.
During the meeting, the Bulgarian authorities expressed once again their concerns about the frequent cases of attacks and aggression provoked by hatred towards Bulgaria, including towards citizens of North Macedonia of Bulgarian origin or those who sympathise with the country.
In the next few months, relations between Sofia and Skopje are not expected to improve significantly due to the political crisis in Bulgaria and the upcoming third parliamentary elections this year. (Krassen Nikolov | EURACTIV.bg)