SOFIA (ANA-MPA - B. Borisov) Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov on Thursday warned the government in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to retract statements regarding the existence of an ethnic 'Macedonian' minority in Bulgaria's Pirin region or jeopardise the country's prospects of joining the EU.
An announcement released by the Bulgarian presidency's press office on Thursday quotes Parvanov's stern reaction to a statement made by FYROM Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski - who referred to "Macedonians of Vardar, the Aegean and Pirin" - and his warning that Sofia's support for FYROM's EU accession was not "unconditional".
"I am bewildered by the position that has been expressed by the Prime Minister of neighbouring [FYROM]. I see it as unacceptable, as an expression of territorial claims. It is all the more unacceptable as [FYROM] aspires to become a member of the EU,” Parvanov said on Thursday, during an official visit to Australia.