American Secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke on the phone with Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, and raised the issue of Bulgaria’s veto of Macedonia’s EU accession talks.

The conversation comes as the State Department spokesman made a statement urging the EU countries to allow Macedonia and Albania to open their accession talks, and President Biden is also expected to raise the issue during his visit to Brussels. Blinken urged Radev to help speed up the process of European integration of Macedonia, and Radev vouched that Bulgaria supports Macedonia’s EU membership, but also wants irreversible results in “building good-neighborly relations”.

Blinken also discussed the announcement of sanctions against Bulgarian politicians by the United States – which is part of a Balkan wide push to go after select politicians.