President Gjorge Ivanov opened Thursday a conference organized by the National Committee on Byzantine and Medieval Studies titled “The Samuel State – 1,000 Years later”, making a parallel between the circumstances that had led to the collapse of the Samuel empire and the current developments in Macedonia. “A millennium ago, the Samuel state had faced similar challenges as the contemporary Macedonian state. Those challenges include denial, non-recognition, blocks, isolation, erroneous naming. It is up to us to maintain the academic freedom or leave a censored and falsified history to future generations,” said President Ivanov. He said the Anti-fascist Assembly for the National Liberation of Macedonia (ASNOM) was a sprout from the same root that produced the Samuel state with attempts made to graft another sprout to it. “This alien sprout is the Prespa Agreement,” according to him.