North Macedonia’s and Albania’s EU paths shouldn’t be decoupled under any circumstances. This was our position last year as well. This position is consistent and we believe EU negotiations should start sooner, with both countries, as promised, First Deputy PM and Minister of Political System and Community Relations Artan Grubi told Kanal 5 TV on Friday.
Grubi said they will work hard to overcome the issue with neighboring Sofia, and they are ready to reach a solution, but not if it threatens identity, culture, language and the Macedonian fellow citizens.
“We believe the views of Sofia are meaningless because you cannot tell a nation that it’s been one thing until 1945, and another thing from 1945 until today. A dispute that North Macedonia has territorial claims to Bulgaria cannot be imposed because it’s absurd, it’s meaningless, there’s no such thing,” Grubi said.
The EU, if it stands behind its credibility, he added, shouldn’t tolerate imposing such non-existent absurd disputes between member states and candidate countries.
Grubi voiced hope that the dispute with Bulgaria was not in fact just a justification for the lethargy of EU member states or absence of a desire to enlarge the Union with Macedonia, Albania, and the other countries.