PM Kovachevski spoke with Secretary Blinken: Immediate opening of negotiations of North Macedonia with the EU is a top priority for the United States

The Prime Minister of the Republic of North Macedonia Dimitar Kovachevski tonight had a telephone conversation with the Secretary of State of the United States of America Anthony Blinken.

Prime Minister Kovachevski expressed the gratitude of the people and the Government for the support of the United States since its independence until today, which is accompanied by excellent bilateral relations.

Kovachevski said that the strategic partnership with the United States is essential, which is crowned with the support of Washington for our NATO membership. Membership in the alliance is a huge privilege and responsibility, said Prime Minister Kovachevski in a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Blinken.

Prime Minister Kovachevski condemned the Russian aggression in Ukraine as unprovoked and a gross violation of international law and reaffirmed his firm support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, and welcomed the international community's swift, united and resolute response.

During the conversation, Kovachevski and Blinken expressed satisfaction with the harmonization and effective coordination of NATO and the EU in sanctioning Russia, as well as in organizing effective support for Ukraine, which was joined by North Macedonia.

Prime Minister Kovachevski expressed his gratitude to the United States for its support for North Macedonia in the European integration process and welcomed the US appeal that it needs to be accelerated by opening accession negotiations between the EU and North Macedonia.

The Prime Minister stressed that there is no time to lose and that any further delay could have serious regional consequences and open the door wide for increased influence of third parties in the region.

For his part, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken confirmed in talks with Prime Minister Kovachevski that the United States is focused on supporting EU enlargement to the Western Balkans.

With strong US support for the start of accession talks for North Macedonia, Blinken welcomed the new momentum of the dialogue with Bulgaria and expressed hope that a solution to the issues between the two countries during the French EU presidency would follow.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken stressed that Washington's support comes from North Macedonia's full commitment to NATO values, which the country has proven in its support for Ukraine, thus being fully harmonized with all NATO allies.

Anthony Blinken in a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Kovachevski stressed that the United States and North Macedonia have raised the strategic partnership to a level of cooperation that makes us irreplaceable allies in NATO and in the joint alliance missions.