European Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi and the Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva are visiting Sofia and Skopje today, in an attempt to get Bulgaria to lift its veto of Macedonia’s EU accession talks.

Their first stop is Sofia where they will meet President Rumen Radev, as well as the top of the caretaker Government and then they will meet Stevo Pendarovski and Zoran Zaev in Skopje. Zaev announced that he expects a creative push from Portugal, which holds the rotating European Council Presidency, aimed at Bulgaria. If not, it is possible that Albania will be allowed to open accession talks while Macedonia remains stuck which would be a major defeat for the Zaev regime and its policy of appeasement.

Meanwhile, former Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said that the caretaker Government needs to ask for guarantees from the visiting officials that Macedonia “will stop its anti-Bulgarian policies” before it allows the opening of accession talks.  Zaharieva said that Bulgaria is already informed about the contents of the proposal being pushed by Portugal and the EU officials, and that it is not sufficient.

The attempt at a compromise is an open secret in Brussels and is being circulated through the halls fo the European Commission. I’m acquainted with it and I will allow myself to comment on it. Unfortunately, it does not meet the framework position of Bulgaria, which was accepted by the Government and unanimously adopted by the Parliament. It does not contain the guarantees that our neighbors will accept European values, Zaharieva said.