Vasil Garvanliev has insisted that he will continue to represent North Macedonia with his song 'Here I Stand' at this year's Eurovision Song Contest.
Over 20,000 angry North Macedonian fans of Eurovision have signed a petition calling for Garvanliev to be axed following the release of the music video for the track, which appeared to feature an artwork depicting the Bulgarian flag.
Relations between the two countries have been traditionally fraught, with the main bone of contention being Bulgaria's assertion that the Macedonian language is merely a dialect of Bulgarian and that ethnic Macedonians are accordingly a subgroup of the Bulgarian population.
Garvanliev, 36, holds a Bulgarian passport but insisted that the imagery in the music video was purely coincidental and apologised for the confusion.
North Macedonian broadcaster MRT announced last week that it would investigate the controversy, but in a post on social media, Garvanliev has now confirmed that he will continue as the country's representative in Rotterdam.
RAY (ed nd ellow) ❤️💛— Vasil Garvanliev (@VGarvanliev) March 23, 2021
See you in Rotterdam!
Thank you for all the #love, #support, and #positive #energy.
Love always wins and music touches souls.
Here WE stand!
🎥- eurovison maceodnia #HereIStand #Eurovision #Love #VoiceForTheVoiceless pic.twitter.com/zw0k0ykNVz