VMRO-DPMNE President Hristijan Mickoski said that any form of regional cooperation is welcome, but that Zaev’s Mini Schengen initiative can’t be an alternative to Macedonia’s full EU membership.

Macedonia should open its EU accession talks this year. We have deserved it ten years ago, when we met all criteria. Unfortunately, due to artificial obstacles, it didn’t happen, Mickoski said.

Zaev is holding a summit with Albania and Serbia today to promote the Mini Schengen – Open Balkan initiative, that would allow easier transit and trade between the three countries. But according to VMRO-DPMNE, this is poor substitute to actual EU integration, a process which has remained stuck despite major concessions the Zaev regime made towards Greece and, to a lesser extent, Bulgaria.