North Macedonia Sets Red Lines for Talks with Bulgaria

North Macedonia’s lawmakers have approved a resolution proposed by opposition party VMRO-DPMNE setting red lines for the government in efforts to solve the row with Bulgaria over the Macedonian language and identity as Sofia continues to block the country’s EU pathway with 95 of 120 votes, reported EURACTIV.hr on Friday.

“The Macedonian language is unique and different from other languages. The Macedonian nation has a culture and a history it can be proud of and we will not let anyone dispute that. Long live Macedonia,” said VMRO-DPMNE’s vice-president, Aleksandar Nikoloski as he announced the outcome of the vote.

VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski expressed gratitude to the ruling party, which accepted the proposal without change.

"We are pleased that the resolution was adopted in the form proposed by our group in Parliament. We know that the speech of this Government will not last for five minutes. But we believe that since the resolution is an act of our highest democratic body, it cannot and should not be overthrown," said Hristijan Mickoski.

The adoption of the resolution could complicate the negotiation process with Bulgaria, as without an agreement Sofia is not expected to give up its veto against North Macedonia's EU membership.

A resolution on the "red lines" has also been adopted by Bulgaria, which also confirms that it does not give up on Skopje's request for recognition of the Macedonian language and identity as related to Bulgaria. / argumentum.al