Zaev’s new railway chief insists that the long delayed link to Bulgaria will be completed in five years

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SDSM official Hari Lokvenec, who is being named to head the Macedonian Railways, insisted that the long awaited link to Bulgaria will be completed in five years.

One of the demands of the Bulgarian side is that Macedonia finally gets serious about completing infrastructure links between the two countries. Macedonia began building the link between Kumanovo and Kustendil early after its independence, when a Greek embargo and international sanctions on Serbia left Macedonia practically isolated. Bulgaria helped Macedonia receive badly needed oil shipments using truck convoys that drove along narrow, mountainous roads. But work on the railway stopped soon after and while the road links remain bad the railway link is non-existent.

There is no pressure on us from Bulgaria. It is without saying the top priority for us. There is no pressure, there is just cooperation. We are working on both sides to plan a tunnel that will link the two countries. We are conducting meetings with Bulgaria but they are reduced to minimum due to the epidemic, Lokvenec said.