The US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Philip Reeker, is critical of the view certain EU leaders have, following the developments to a date for membership negotiations. “We were disappointed. Secretary Pompeo made that very clear, that the European Council could not move forward to begin the accession talks both for North Macedonia and for Albania. The European perspective, the idea that the peoples of these European countries want to join the European Union has been a key component of our foreign policy. We are not members of the European Union, obviously, but we have supported that ideal and our assistance programmes, our diplomacy have all supported the reform efforts that these countries have undertaken to move in that direction because we feel that’s in the best interests in the countries, the region and of Europe and it’s disappointing to see certain leaders with a sort of 19th-century view of the Western Balkan region,” he tells Radio Free Europe.