North Macedonia’s President: Ban One MEP and Several other Bulgarians from Entering the Country

Southeast Europe | January 24, 2023, Tuesday // 09:30|  views

North Macedonia’s President Stevo Pendarovski proposed to the government, according to the law on foreigners, "that one MEP from Bulgaria and several other persons from Bulgaria be banned from entering the country, because of their previous and ongoing actions against" North Macedonia.

According to Pendarovski, the legal conditions for imposing such a measure are "a threat to public order, a threat to national security or a threat to the international relations of the Republic of North Macedonia".

The latest development of events in relations with Bulgaria was the topic "with a special focus" at today's meeting of the Security Council, convened by the president. The director of the Intelligence Agency, Erolld Musliu, the director of the National Security Agency, Zarko Milosevski, and the Chief of the General Staff of the Army, Lieutenant General Vasko Gyurchinovski, took part in the meeting, reports BTA.

According to Pendarovski, the analyzes of the responsible institutions indicate that there are structures in Bulgaria that have been activated especially after the adoption of the negotiation framework in July and "are mobilized both logistically and financially to support the arrival of a large group of people from Bulgaria on February 4 (when 151 years of the birth of Gotse Delchev are celebrated) in Skopje".

"According to all assessments, this will be an event with a high security risk, and the institutions will not just be silent witnesses to what is happening," said Pendarovski.

According to him, there are two ways to react to such "organized anti-state campaigns carried out by political parties and individuals" - the first is with cultural diplomatic rhetoric, which has been used so far and will be used in the future, and the other reaction is through measures, "which any serious and organized state undertakes in such situations".

"Furthermore, in order for the event on February 4 to pass as it should, all measures will be taken on the ground, which means that only people who come to worship Gotse Delchev will have access from the border point to the place of the event, but not those who aim to humiliate the Macedonian people", Pendarovski pointed out.

He noted that the institutions in Bulgaria "are not part of this" and called on them to politically isolate "people who do not want good neighborly relations".

"Macedonia is not your enemy, but this country has laws, and dignity, and when these borders are crossed, we will react to defend ourselves," Pendarovski said.

He insists on "much better coordination between the competent institutions of both countries" so that "the European agenda and bilateral relations do not fall victim to anachronistic nationalist and populist policies on both sides".

The President of North Macedonia did not specify the names of the Bulgarian citizens that he proposed not to be allowed in the country, but specified that some of the "structures from Bulgaria that have been activated" are connected to the Russian intelligence service.

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Tags: macedonia, Bulgaria, Pendarovski


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