PM Borissov: "I Hope North Macedonia Will Show Different Development after It Joins NATO"

ESD 17:27:01 14-12-2019

PM Borissov: "I Hope North Macedonia
Will Show Different Development
after It Joins NATO"

Sofia, December 14 (BTA) - Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko
Borissov hopes that North Macedonia will show a different way of
development when it joins NATO. "I hope that North Macedonia,
once it becomes the 30th NATO member and joins this
[North-Atlantic] family, will soon show a difference in
development, and at the same time I expect the other countries
which want to join the EU or NATO, to show more wisdom and
carefully consider their actions," Borissov said as he addressed
the second annual Western Balkans Resilience Forum of the
International Republican Institute of the US, taking place in
Sofia December 12-14.

He said that "a straddling position is not good for anybody: you
are either in NATO or you are not, you are either in the
European family or you are not".

"No matter how much we want, it is hard to have a country in the
Balkans with the role that Austria or Switzerland play.
Everybody wants military neutrality and, if possible, a fat bank
account but it is not up to us to have these," said also the
Bulgarian government leader.

He said that over 10-15 years ago, nobody wanted to hear about
the Balkans "because we deserved that: wars, mass annihilation,
countries coming apart and the entire region turning into a
powder keg which did not deserve any attention". "But the
Bulgarian Presidency of the EU put relations in the region on
the agenda and multiple processes that followed after that
brought the region back in the focus of attention of the
European and US leaders."

He said that Bulgaria will put the Western Balkans on the agenda
two more times in the coming year: as it co-hosts the Berlin
process together with North Macedonia, and then on May 27-28
when Sofia is due to host an Aqaba Process forum.

Borissov said that cooperation is very important for the Balkans
and singled out several aspects of cooperation that he believes
needs to be prioritized: ensuring fast information exchange
among the special services and the Interior Ministries of the
Western Balkans and signing the interagency documents that will
make that possible.

In conclusion, he said that "when there is security in the
Balkans, more investments come, the gross domestic product
increases, people's incomes grow and it is easier to work". LN/

Source: Sofia