Diplomatic Offensive in Brno Inspires Hopes for Solution of Bulgaria-North Macedonia Dispute over Nm EU Acession
European leaders organised two meetings between Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev and North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev within a few hours in Brdo, on Wednesday, the Bulgarian presidency has announced.
Radev has been invited to attend the first joint meeting with Zaev at 7:30 am with European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša.
At 9 am, Radev is invited by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to a joint meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and again with Zaev.
This is part of the pressure on Bulgaria to lift its veto over Skopje’s membership talks. European leaders are aware that there is no way to change Sofia’s position before the elections on 14 November. Their meetings can be interpreted as encouraging Radev to help in the process after the possible formation of a stable government in Bulgaria in late November.
As expected, Bulgaria has announced that a breakthrough in Brdo cannot be expected.
“There is no reason to change Bulgaria’s position on the Republic of North Macedonia (RCM), despite the serious pressure that our country will be subjected to by its European partners at the EU-Western Balkans summit,” Bulgarian Vice President Iliana Iotova has said.
She explained that the Bulgarian position is aimed at respecting the rights of citizens in the Republic of North Macedonia with Bulgarian identity.
“The results of the Macedonian census, which is taking place in the RNM, will be very important. Many alarming signals are coming to us. The destruction of memorial plaques has started again,” the Vice President said.
Radev’s caretaker governments have maintained the line drawn by the GERB government in talks with northern Macedonia. Sofia wants to respect the rights of people with Bulgarian citizenship in Northern Macedonia.
(Krassen Nikolov | EURACTIV.bg)
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