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President Pendarovski Proposes Banning Entry in Republic of N Macedonia for One Bulgarian MEP and “Several Other People”

The latest development of events in relations with Bulgaria was in the fucus of a meeting of the Security Council held Monday by the President of the Republic of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski. He made a statement after the meeting, which was attended by the country’s intelligence chief, the head of the National Security Agency and the Chief of General Staff. It transpired there that he had asked the government to ban the entry into the country of a Bulgarian member of the European Parliament and an unspecified number of other Bulgarian citizens, who may seek to visit for the upcoming 151st birth anniversary of revolutionary Dotse Delchev.
He said that according to the available analyzes and knowledge of the authorities, there are organized activities by structures in Bulgaria that have been activated especially after the adoption of the European negotiating framework in July last year. “These same structures are already mobilized, logistically and financially, to support the organized arrival in Skopje on several people on February 4, when we celebrate the day of the birth of Gotse Delchev,” the President said. “According to all estimates it will be an event of high security risk and the competent authorities must not and will not only be mute observers of what will happen,” he added.
He outlined two ways to respond to “such organized anti-state campaigns implemented by political parties and individuals”: the first is civilized diplomatic rhetoric, which has been used before and will continue to be used, and  the second is with measures “that every serious and organized state takes in such situations”.
You know that the Security Council is the president’s advisory body, which does not decide, but rather proposes to the Parliament and the Government.
Pendarovski has proposed to the Government, in accordance with the provisions of the Foreigners Act, to prohibit entry into the Republic of North Macedonia of “a Bulgarian member of the European Parliament and several other citizens of Bulgaria, because of the actions they have taken and are still taking against our country”.
He enlisted three legal prerequisites for imposing such a measure: a threat to public order, a threat to national security, or a threat to the foreign relations of the Republic of Northern Macedonia. “In addition, for the February 4 event to pass as it should, we will have to take all the necessary measures on the ground which means that only people coming to pay tribute to Gotse Delchev will be allowed from the border crossings to the event venue in Skopje – not those who seek to humiliate the Macedonian people,” Pendarovski said.
He went on to urge the “Bulgarian authorities, which are not part of these scenarios, to isolate politically people who do not want good neighborly relations”. “Macedonia is not your enemy but this country has laws and dignity, and when these lines are crossed, we will react to protect ourselves,” the President said.  
He proposed improved coordination between the competent institutions of the two countries, “to make sure the European agenda and bilateral relations don’t fall a victim of anachronistic nationalist and populist policies on both sides”.
Pendarovski did not name the Bulgarian citizens he wants barred from entering his country. He specified that the “structures that have been activated in Bulgaria are linked to the Russian intelligence”.

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