Hopes that a compromise could be reached with the new government in Sofia ahead of the decision to set a date for Macedonia’s EU talks to begin in June this year have been dashed following the appointment of Bulgaria’s interim Prime Minister Stefan Yanev.

The Bulgarian framework position (on this issue” was adopted by consensus by all political parties in the Bulgarian Parliament. As a caretaker government, we have no authority to change that, said the new Foreign Minister Svetlan Stoev. Hence, everything is in the hands of Macedonia’s representatives. They know the Bulgarian position very well and should not speculate that there will be any change in the next two or three months as long as the mandate of this government is, Stoev said.

Sofia urges Skopje to acknowledge that the Macedonian nation and language have Bulgarian roots, and to put an end to the country’s anti-Bulgarian rhetoric.

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev recently said in Brussels that the Macedonian identity and language are not on the negotiating table and Skopje refuses to discuss those issues as a condition for negotiations with the EU.

These signals to the Bulgarian interim authorities mean that Macedonia cannot hope for negotiations at least until the fall, although Osmani and Dimitrov announced that they will try to reach an agreement with the new caretaker government in Sofia.