Zoran Zaev insisted that he is “not far” from a deal with Bulgaria, which is blocking the opening of EU accession talks for Macedonia. He insisted that Bulgaria is a great friend of Macedonia, and also implied that it recognizes the Macedonian nation and language – something that Bulgaria is willing to do but only under major qualifications.
As I said, we are not far from a deal. We only need to have good will, look positively at things and keep our projected future in front of us. I believe that until the Council of EU ministers on December 8, 9 or 10 there will be another meeting between me and Borisov and our working groups will continue to meet with an intensive schedule, Zaev said during an energy conference in Skopje.
He insisted that the “added time” with the Bulgarian veto is an “excellent opportunity” for both countries to work on “solutions and not concessions”.
Zaev’s optimistic statements were clouded by professor Dragan Georgiev, who leads the Macedonian team of historians in the joint committee with Bulgaria. Georgiev said that the Bulgarian demands are “absolutely unacceptable” and undermine relations between the two nations, which affects the Macedonian members of the committee.