EU ministers have reached a political agreement on opening accession talks with the Balkan nations of Albania and North Macedonia, Andreja Metelko-Zgombic, Croatia’s state secretary in charge of EU affairs, announced at an online press conference Tuesday.

In a videoconference, ministers in charge of European affairs also approved a European Commission proposal for a new procedure for accession talks for the Western Balkans.

Due to the extraordinary circumstances of the coronavirus outbreak, the EU ministers’ decisions need to be confirmed by a written procedure.

“We hope to start the negotiations very quickly,” Oliver Varhelyi, EU commissioner for enlargement and neighborhood policy,

Read more: EU to start accession talks with Albania, N.Macedonia