Dimitrov with Moderate Optimism on Latest Brussels Announcements

The global pandemic and virtually frozen activities of European institutions is complicating Macedonia’s ability to receive the long-awaited negotiation date this month. At a virtual press conference with Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov, Germany’s Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth says he hopes Brussels will deliver on what has been promised, however it remains uncertain whether the General Affairs Council will be held in Brussels in four days, where at the ministerial level the negotiations with Macedonian have to pass the first filter, before receiving a final confirmation from the European Council two days later. “We are now committed to solidarity. The virus has no national identity and humanity needs to overcome the pandemic together, and the stronger should help the weaker ones,” stated Roth at a joint video conference with FM Dimitrov. Roth emphasized that each country’s priority is to protect its citizens, taking into account the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring that people are not afraid of the disease. “We must provide preconditions for the General Affairs Council to be able to meet virtually. Talks on the Council’s decisions will still be held, together with our friends from the Netherlands and Denmark. I am optimistic that we will be able to give the green light in the coming weeks,” said Minister Roth. Minister Dimitrov believes that the EU will be wrong to sends a signal that it is burdened by the health crisis and can’t deal with other matters. He is also optimistic about the decision to schedule the negotiations, unlike Deputy Prime Minister Bujar Osmani, who only triumphantly announced an hour earlier that the date was certain and that representatives of member states in Brussels had expressed their agreement.