North Macedonia explained why a Bulgarian MEP was not allowed to enter the countryDiplomacy | May 9, 2023, Tuesday // 16:46| views
Bulgarian MEP Andrey Kovachev
In the group that traveled to the Bulgarian military cemetery near Novo Selo on May 6 and which "due to non-fulfillment of the conditions for entry into the Republic of North Macedonia, according to the Law on Foreigners, was prohibited from entering" the Republic of North Macedonia, there were persons which the Ministry of the Interior of North Macedonia knows pose a risk to public peace and security. MEP Andrey Kovachev is not among them, but the competent services made such a decision because of the group he was traveling with, reports the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of North Macedonia.
Every MEP who respects the dignity of the state and its citizens is welcome in North Macedonia, states the message, which specifies that for the government of the Republic of North Macedonia, EU membership is a priority issue and for this purpose all government and administrative resources are targeted for the successful completion of the screening process and the opening of the first cluster.
"At the same time, work is being done on the constitutional changes, which are entering a key phase, where the working group must come up with a proposal for changes in a short period of time. The sensitivity of this process leaves no room for taking the slightest risk that would negatively affect the successful implementation of the changes," the announcement reads.
On May 6, five Bulgarian citizens, including Andrey Kovachev and Milen Vrabevski, were stopped at the Novo Selo border crossing, traveling to the Bulgarian military cemetery near Novo Selo, to commemorate the Day of Courage and the Bulgarian Army.
The incident provoked reactions both from Bulgaria and in the European People's Party and the European Parliament.
"We condemn the refusal of MEP Andrey Kovachev to enter North Macedonia on May 6. We call on the government of North Macedonia to urgently clarify the situation. Denying entry to a member of the European Parliament is a very serious action," Oliver Varhelyi, Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, said on Twitter.
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