Unknown persons broke into the Cultural and Information Center of Bulgaria in the center of Skopje on Wednesday night.
"At night, a deliberate criminal act was committed on the territory of the Bulgarian Cultural and Information Center in Skopje. There is a broken side wall that is made of plasterboard, there is material damage. The entire facade of the side wall is broken. There are broken parts of the glass wall which is the outer wall. Padlocks are broken. According to our initial assessments and after operative-investigative actions carried out by a team of the Criminal Police of Skopje in my presence, the absence of some of the computer equipment I used was found to be missing", said the director of the cultural center, Antonia Veleva.
The fact that this attack is against an institution that is of particular importance for the Republic of Bulgaria is extremely unpleasant, she stressed. "We hope for a timely resolution of the case by the competent authorities and for the perpetrators of this act to be identified as soon as possible."
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria reacted immediately and expressed serious concern that this crime is taking place in the context of an ongoing anti-Bulgarian campaign in the Republic of North Macedonia, including a series of attacks against local Bulgarian organizations, for which there is still no effective justice and punishment. In a conversation with the ambassador of the Republic of Macedonia in Sofia, Agneza Rusi-Popovska, the director of the Southeast Europe Directorate, Vanya Andreeva, emphasized the expectation of the Bulgarian state, the institutions of the Republic of North Macedonia, not only to identify the perpetrators of this crime, but also to clearly demonstrate, that such attacks against representations of Bulgaria are absolutely unacceptable and will be prosecuted with all the rigor of the law.
It is of particular importance not to allow the perpetrators of such acts to maintain a sense of impunity, for which both the effective administration of justice and the public narrative created by politicians are important, the statement of the ministry's spokesperson also states.
The new premises of the Bulgarian Cultural and Information Center in Skopje were solemnly opened on November 25, 2022 in the presence of the Ministers of Culture of Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia.
The center was established in 2006 as a result of an agreement between the governments of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia dated April 18, 2003, with which the two countries undertook to guarantee the normal functioning of the cultural and information centers in the two capitals.