Macedonian PM doubts Sofia is ready to Resolve Disputes with Skopje

Southeast Europe | June 11, 2022, Saturday // 13:18|  views

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (left) and North Macedonian Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski (right)

The Bulgarian veto on the start of negotiations for the membership of North Macedonia in the EU is expected to be the main topic of today's visit of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to Bulgaria.

He arrives in Sofia from Skopje, where he told North Macedonian Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski this morning that the country is ready to start EU membership talks.

For his part, Kovachevski said Skopje wants bilateral disputes settled, but expressed doubts as to whether Sofia is ready for the same.

"One of the preconditions for successful negotiations is that the countries that are negotiating have confidence in the process. We are the country that wants a solution. Also, the Republic of Bulgaria must be prepared to do so. There is a big difference between us and the Republic of Bulgaria," said the Prime Minister of North Macedonia."

According to Kovachevski, the topic has become the subject of domestic political opposition in Bulgaria and no predictions can be made.

In Sofia this afternoon, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will hold talks with Prime Minister Kiril Petkov and then with President Rumen Radev.

So far, Bulgaria has officially reaffirmed its position that the veto on the start of negotiations on EU membership of North Macedonia can be lifted only if Skopje gives guarantees that it will implement the Good Neighbour Agreement.

After the main demands, the neighboring state should include the Bulgarians as one of the nation-building peoples in its constitution. This position was confirmed this week in front of the visiting EU Commissioner for Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi.

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Tags: north macedonia, Bulgaria, kovachevski, scholz

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