Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov made telephone calls to Serbian president Boris Tadic and Macedonian prime minister Nikola Gruevski, respectively, discussing bilateral issues and wishing them well on their countries’ paths to European Union integration, the Cabinet media office said on December 23 2009.
Borissov welcomed Serbia’s formal application on December 22 to join the EU, the media statement said.
He congratulated Tadic and Gruevski on their countries’ admission to the Schengen visa-free arrangement as of December 19.
From that date, citizens of the two countries, along with Montenegro, may enter the Schengen visa zone for up to 90 days within six-month periods provided that they are biometric passport holders.
Borissov sent Christmas wishes and hopes for the health and happiness of citizens of Macedonia and Serbia, respectively, according to the media statement.
This year has seen some ructions in Bulgaria’s bilateral relations with each of the two countries.
Gruevski caused offence in Bulgaria when statements he made while on a visit to Australia were interpreted as representing territorial claims in Bulgaria. Gruevski said that he had been misunderstood. In 2009, Sofia has more than once told Skopje that its support for its EU hopes is not unconditional.
Belgrade was offended when Bulgaria sent representatives to the International Court of Justice in The Hague to give evidence in favour of the legality of Kosovo’s February 2008 unilateral declaration of independence, which Serbia rejects as illegitimate.