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‘Truly cynical’: Russian intel chief blasts EU for closing door to Albania, N. Macedonia

On October 17-18, EU summit members failed to produce a decision on launching negotiations on admitting Albania and North Macedonia to the EU

BELGRADE, October 23. /TASS/. Brussels’ refusal to launch talks on Albania’s and North Macedonia’s admission to the EU demonstrates the European Union’s cynicism towards Balkan states, Director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Naryshkin said in an interview with Serbia’s RTS TV channel published on Wednesday.

"This is an example of the European Union’s inconsistent and often cynical position regarding Balkan countries. Brussels invited these two countries to join the Euro-Atlantic integration, primarily NATO. These countries complied with Brussels’ demands, by advancing difficult reforms, but when it came down to [joining] the EU, Brussels slammed the door in their faces. This is truly cynical," Naryshkin emphasized.

Earlier, leaders from across the European Union convened on October 17-18 for an EU summit, where lengthy talks failed to produce a decision on launching negotiations to admit Albania and North Macedonia into the union. European sources suggest that France blocked the beginning of formal negotiations.

North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has branded the decision by the EU’s leaders to put off the talks as a ‘historic mistake’ and called for a snap general election for citizens to confirm their trust in the government and its policies.

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama voiced a similar position, saying that Tirana would continue its effort to launch formal EU accession talks.