Borrell: If Skopje and Sofia do not resolve the dispute before July, we will have a serious crisis with the region

Josep Borrell / Photo EPA-EFE / CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT /

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Joseph Borrell, stated that he sets a time frame for resolving the dispute between Northern Macedonia and Bulgaria, until the end of the French presidency, on June 30, MIA correspondent from Brussels reported.

Borel said this tonight at a press conference after the Council of Foreign Ministers, at which a special session was held with the foreign ministers of the Western Balkans.

- We have delved deeply into the issue of relations with Bulgaria, which is blocking the process, during the debate between the EU member states, and this is something that must be overcome, there is political will in the Council to avoid a crisis that would happen if not resolved until the end of the French presidency I put a deadline. "If that does not happen, we will have a serious crisis in relations with the countries of the Western Balkans, and we will continue to put pressure on both sides to find a solution," Borrell said tonight in Brussels.

He reminded that Northern Macedonia, together with Albania and Montenegro, are fully in line with EU foreign policy and EU sanctions against Russia, as well as that Northern Macedonia and Albania are on the list of enemy countries of Moscow. All this, he pointed out, will have a price.

"We need to start negotiations with Northern Macedonia and Albania, and I hope, more than hope and desire, that this will happen during the French presidency, we consider this delay unsustainable," Borrell said, adding that both countries meet all conditions that are required of them, and if they do not have an EU perspective, it will cost Europe a lot in terms of credibility, and it will be a gift to Russia.

For Borrell, Ukraine's candidacy process is not linked to the enlargement process to the Western Balkans.

Asked whether economic and financial assistance is being considered for Northern Macedonia and the region due to the consequences that these countries are suffering, Borrell said that today they did not go into details on this topic.

"We know that Northern Macedonia and others will need macro-financial assistance, we will incorporate the Western Balkans in our response to the crisis, but to be honest, we did not go into any issue of compensation or macro-financial assistance due to sanctions specifically," said Josep Borrell.

He has previously called for the crisis not to be seen as a consequence of sanctions, but as a result of Russia's war, and said he needed to fight the "narrative" part of the sanctions as well.

Video of the day