Bulgarian officials, but also Macedonian officials, are showing signs of division as the June deadline to resolve the historic dispute draws near. Bulgarian nationalist politician Kostadin Kostadinov shared the minutes from a recent meeting between Foreign Minister Teodora Gencovska and EU Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi. The minutes make clear that Prime Minister Kiril Petkov is indicating that he is ready to lift the veto in June and allow Macedonia to open its EU accession talks.
According to the minutes, Gencovska told Varhelyi that the deadline is becoming more and more elusive, with the lack of progress between the two countries, including the alleged hardening of positions from the Macedonian side.
The minutes also show that there is difference in positions in Macedonia as well, between Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani, who would say one set of things to the Bulgarian counterparts, and experts officials from his Ministry, who were more hardline.
Other Bulgarian officials, like the hard-line member of the European Parliament Andrey Kovatchev, say that there are differences of positions within the ruling coalition, with Petkov being more conciliatory, and his coalition partners like BSP being more nationalist.
Talks are made even more complicated by the involvement of former Prime Minister Zoran Zaev in the process. Zaev met with Petkov during a diplomatic forum in Turkey