Russian President Vladimir Putin warmly told his Macedonian counterpart yesterday that the Cyrillic script and Slavic literacy “came from Macedonian soil”, a statement met with condemnation in Bulgaria.
In a case of perfect timing, Mr Putin made his statement during the Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov's visit to Moscow, which coincided with the Bulgarian public holiday celebrating Saints Cyril and Methodius, authors of the Glagolitic alphabet that served as a basis for Cyrillic.
Several Bulgarian ministers and diplomats, including Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva, have vocally decried Mr Putin's claim, arguing that it whitewashes the significance of Bulgaria in the creation of the writing system.
“The creation of literacy happened due to the will, and participation, of the Bulgarian state and it is hardly a coincidence that the Bulgarian ruler Boris I is present in all ancient Bulgarian books as Boris-Mihail-the Baptiser, who introduced the faith and literacy,” Ms Zaharieva wrote on Facebook yesterday, arguing that the work of Cyril and Methodius (who hailed from 9th century Thessaloniki, the present day capital of Greek Macedonia) would not have been possible without the Bulgarian state.
Source: Balkan Insight