European Western Balkans

Tsipras in Sofia and will be discussing the situation in Macedonia

Alexis Tsipras

ATHENS – The Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras on Monday is leaving for Sofia for a joint cabinet meeting between Greece and Bulgaria. Tsipras  will meet with Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and President Rosen Plevneliev in the Bulgarian capital, then there will be a joint meeting between the Greek and the Bulgarian government because in Sofia almost half of the ministers from SYRIZA will also be coming.

At the meetings, it is expected they will be discussing strengthening their cooperation regarding energy, the refugee crisis and the developments in Turkey and the region. The main topic is expected to be energy cooperation and the possibility of linking of the Greek-Bulgarian IGB pipeline to the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). In Greece, it has been speculated that IGB wants to take over the Azerbaijani gas from TAP, and from there, put out routes to Macedonia and other countries in the Western Balkan.

According to the information coming from Greece, discussing the situation in Macedonia has not been excluded. The newspaper “Kathimerini”, citing diplomatic sources, reported that Sofia and Athens have a common stance on Macedonia. Both countries apparently, believe that the country has a continuous problem with democracy, the agreed points from the Pržino Agreements will have to be implemented because, in terms of European integration, Macedonia must behave in accordance with European rules and values. Regarding their actual common stance of Bulgaria and Greece, the Minister Kotzias at the June Council of Foreign Ministers of the European Union said that Greece opposes sanctions against Macedonia and that Greece and Bulgaria are true friends of Macedonia and do care about its stability.

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