site.btaUPDATED Traffic across Border between Bulgaria and North Macedonia Restored after 3-Hour Disruption
Traffic across the border between Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia was restored on Saturday after over 100 cars and trucks were stranded for three hours due to what North Macedonia’s checkpoint officials said was a technical glitch.
Some of the stranded cars were on their way to Skopje to pay tribute to revolutionary Gotse Delchev on the occasion of his 151st birth anniversary. Among the waiting cars were also some with number plates from Serbia and North Macedonia.
The checkpoint closed around 9am and reopened at 1pm on Saturday.
Some of those in the waiting vehicles described the situation as a provocation. The chairman of the Macedonia Foundation, Viktor Stoyanov, said Bulgaria needed to respond to these actions appropriately.
Angel Georgiev MP of Vazrazhdane was on site, broadcasting live on his Facebook page. According to a press release of Vazrazhdane, he captured on video how Macedonian police grabbed him and took him inside the border control checkpoint, because he was trying to learn why another Bulgarian had been arrested. The police threatened Georgiev, as heard in the video, the press release reads.
Georgi Petrov, leader of VMRO in Kyustendil (Southwestern Bulgaria), said he had not been allowed to enter the Republic of North Macedonia after a three-hour wait in the buffer zone between the border control checkpoints of Gyueshevo and Deve Bair. He was travelling with VMRO sympathizers for the marking of Gotse Delchev’s 151st birth anniversary in Skopje.
“I handed my documents and those checking them took out a piece of paper, probably some kind of a list, after which they gave me a document stating I am a threat to the national security of the country,” Petrov told BTA. Other people were also denied entry in North Macedonia, he added.