Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said that the delay of the opening of accession talks with Macedonia, which Zoran Zaev promised will begin in June, will allow Albania to join the group with Macedonia.

The good news, according to me, is taht the two countries are not decoupled at this stage, which some EU member states wanted to see happen. The Bulgarian position has been that we strongly support EU enlargement with Western Balkan countries. I see favorably on the postponement, now we have a chance that the two begin accession talks together. Bulgaria supports both countries. That is our position, that it would be a historic mistake if they both don’t begin now, Zaharieva said.

EU countries like the Netherlands are set on blocking Albania, but are seen as persuadable on Macedonia. Some Macedonian politicians, like President Pendarovski, called for “decoupling” of the two countries to allow Macedonia to advance forward without being dragged down by Albania, but this was rejected at the meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg and now both countries wait for the next meeting in October.