Bulgaria: Zoran Zaev’s Visit to Sofia Paves Way to Compromise
The delegation of the Republic of North Macedonia led by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev arrives in Bulgaria.
Meetings are scheduled with President Rumen Radev and caretaker Prime Minister Stefan Yanev. Zaev's visit follows the visit of Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama last week, but is also set against the backdrop of Bulgaria's veto of the Negotiating Framework for EU membership of the two Western Balkan countries.
Zoran Zaev's visit paves the way for a compromise between Sofia and Skopje, commented in an interview for News.bg the journalist and expert on the Western Balkans Nikolay Krastev, who was special envoy to Macedonia during the civil war in 2001.
Although a positive step, today's meeting is just one of many on the long road to finding a satisfactory solution for both sides. Nikolay Krastev does not expect any significant breakthrough till the end of June, and the realistic deadline for reaching a compromise between the two countries is 6 months or even 12 months - until the end of the French Presidency of the EU Council.
"Bulgaria must have a position that reflects both its national interests, but on the other hand it must comply with the policy of the European Union. The balance has to be found, otherwise there can be no development," he said.
According to the expert, both the EU and NATO pursue a policy of preventing new divisions in the Balkans, such as that between Turkey and Greece, as such conflicts strengthen the influence of China and Russia. That is why the influential factors in the West do not uphold Sofia's resolute position.
The interest from the Macedonian media to Zaev's visit to Sofia is extremely strong: 50 journalists will visit Sofia in the framework of bilateral meetings.