Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has reaffirmed to his Montenegrin counterpart Duško Marković Bulgaria's readiness to continue supporting Montenegro's EU membership negotiating process.
Borissov, whose country currently holds the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU, told Marković that Bulgaria was ready to provide the expertise of its readiness in various areas, and added that Montenegro was a good example for the region.
Hosted by Borissov and by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Marković is visiting Sofia on March 1 to take part in a meeting of leaders of countries of the Western Balkans.
Borissov and Marković both pointed out to the good level of political dialogue and high-level dynamics in relations between their two countries, as well as the main priority of Bulgaria's EU Presidency, the EU prospects of the Western Balkans.
Borissov was reported as telling Marković "Now you have to mobilize as much as possible for the implementation of decisive reforms in key areas of political, economic and social life".
Marković agreed with his counterpart that along with the fulfillment of the EU membership requirements, the important infrastructure projects for the connectivity in the region should be launched.
The countries of the Balkans are preoccupied with the matter of joining the EU, and are under pressure as more demands of reform are requested as a prerequisite to be able to join the union. On February 20, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the EU’s demands for the Balkan states to choose between the West or Russia are counterproductive and only increase tensions on the European continent.
He stressed that countries like Russia, China and Turkey want to work in the region on an open, constructive basis, but there are attempts by the US and the EU to introduce anti-Russian elements in its Balkan policy.
He noted that “Washington and some European capitals send their emissaries to the Balkans with a specific message: ‘Do not be friends with Russia; refuse cooperation with it in all possible areas.’”