Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva says there are foreign factors in the Western Balkans that have a strong influence on some countries.

According to her, the responsibility for this lies with the European Union because it was not sufficiently engaged in the region.

“There is a (foreign) influence, it is our fault, we are not sufficiently present and engaged in the Western Balkan countries,” Zaharieva told European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, Beta reported, quoting Radio Free Europe.

“If we are not there then somebody else, who is not part of our European family or of NATO is present and has a strong influence.”

Presenting the priorities of the Bulgarian EU presidency, Zaharieva confirmed that the Western Balkans is the most important priority and that the region is very important for the whole continent.

“We firmly believe there can be no stability or security in Europe without stability and security in the Western Balkans,” Zaharieva said.

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