War in Ukraine stirs up deadlocked conflict

Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Kiril Petkov (front right) after a press conference in Sofia on June 8
Image: AFP

Bulgaria refused to agree to EU accession talks with North Macedonia. Now Sofia might give in. That would also be important for Ukraine and at least a sign of fairness.

DA last-minute move by former Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov on Wednesday gave rise to the possibility that Bulgaria could lift its resistance to the opening of EU accession negotiations with North Macedonia, which came as a surprise to most observers. Borissov, under whose leadership Bulgaria had vetoed North Macedonia, appeared before the press in Sofia on Wednesday morning and announced that his party “Gerb”, the largest opposition faction in the Bulgarian parliament, was ready to lobby in parliament for the repeal of the to vote objection. This announcement had apparently been prepared in days of talks with Brussels.

Thomas Gutschker

Political correspondent for the European Union, NATO and the Benelux countries based in Brussels.

Michael Martens

Correspondent for Southeast European countries based in Vienna.

According to reports, the background to this was the fact that Bulgarian Prime Minister Kyrill Petkov, who was overthrown by a vote of no confidence on Wednesday, had not given the European partners the impression in the past few weeks that he was able to organize a majority for the lifting of the Bulgarian veto in parliament at short notice . However, there was great European political interest in this, since the general view is that Ukraine and Moldova cannot be granted the status of EU accession candidates if nothing moves in the Balkans, where the enlargement process has been stuck for years.

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