Bulgaria denies Russian allegations on Macedonia

Bulgarian foreign minister considers Russian foreign minister’s claims ‘irresponsible’

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Bulgarian Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov denied the allegations of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Bulgarian aim of annexation of Macedonia to prevent its participation to the Turkish Stream Project [TAP].

On Thursday, Sergei Lavrov accused Bulgaria of the crisis in Macedonia saying “Bulgaria and Albania want to split Macedonia.”

Considering Lavrov’s comments as “highly irresponsible,” Mitov said: “Attempts to call into question European policy in the region and the territorial integrity of the Republic of Macedonia are unacceptable.

“The stability of all countries of South Eastern Europe is of paramount importance to us and attempts by countries outside the region to undermine it through such suggestions should stop,” he added.

“Bulgaria would continue to be the guarantor of the independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Macedonia, and there should be no doubt about this. Bulgaria would continue to be the guarantor of the independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Macedonia and there should be no doubt about this.”

On Wednesday, Lavrov said that after political crisis and border clash, ideas like federalisation of Macedonia emerged.

“Now, there is talk that Macedonia needs to be federalised even deeper, and ideas have even been floated as to why not dismember it and give part of it to Albania and another part to Bulgaria," he said.

Lavrov backed Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski claiming that Gruevski became a target because he refused joining anti-Russia sanctions and supported TAP with Russia. He added that to remove Gruevski “Albanian factor” is being used by foreign powers.

“Attempts have been made to accuse Gruevski’s government of failing to deliver on its pledges to the population. However, behind this lies a desire to exert influence on him in connection with his refusal to back sanctions against Russia, support for the South Stream [gas pipeline project] and willingness to cooperate in other options for gas supply, including the so-called Turkish Stream,” he said.

"The events in Macedonia are fairly brutally managed from outside.”

During clashes between Macedonian security forces and ethnic Albanian militants in the Macedonian city of Kumanovo last week, the Bulgarian government decided to send troops to the Macedonian border to prevent a possible flow of people from Macedonia in case of a social turmoil.

The Bulgarian government also sent another troop of commandos to work with the Macedonian army to search for possible terror suspects.

At least eight police officers and 14 members of an “armed group” were killed after a day-long clash in the northern border city.

Kumanovo is one of the areas of Macedonia with a dense ethnic Albanian population, and an ethnic uprising was staged in the city in May 2001.


TRTWorld and agencies