Bulgarian Deputy PM and Foreign Affairs Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said in an interview for web portal Zoom.mk that Bulgaria does not dispute the Macedonian identity. “The very fact that Bulgaria was the first to recognise North Macedonia as an independent state proves that we do not dispute the identity, but still, someone tends to present a different image before the citizens of North Macedonia and the European politicians. Bulgaria has not negative positions towards the citizens of North Macedonia and we want this to stay that way, but the constant lies and offenses coming from our Western neighbours may force Bulgarians to change their opinion about Macedonians. Still, I do not think that relations between our two countries are not that bad, and I am glad that we invest efforts in the bilateral dialogue for overcoming disputes. However, North Macedonia took a more relaxed approach towards the Good-neighbourliness Agreement after its accession to NATO, which makes us believe that the Agreement was signed only for the Bulgarian approval for NATO accession,” Zaharieva said.