In Bratislava, the first meeting of the heads of diplomacy of the Visegrad Group countries “in a comprehensive format” took place in several months. At the press conference summarizing the meeting, Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau said that the countries will continue to work together on issues related to, among others, migration and infrastructure.
Conversations in the capital Slovakia was the first meeting of foreign ministers in several months countries of the Visegrad Group “in a holistic format”, that is, one in which ministers from all four countries participated. The main topics of the meeting were war in Ukraine and cooperation within the V4.
At the press conference summarizing the meeting, the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia, Rastislav Kacer, admitted that there are issues where the V4 countries differ from each other, and for example in matters related to the war in Ukraine “there is no absolute consensus.” But – as he said – Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary are neighbors, have a common heritage and have “common good ideas”.
He emphasized that the V4 countries cooperate well in the area of culture, transport and infrastructure, among others. The head of the Slovak MFA added that the Visegrad Group plays a very positive role. He announced that the V4 countries will also allocate some funds to support Moldova.
Lipavsky: We have the same problems
Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky said that the meeting in Bratislava was informal and open. As he said, the topics of cooperation within the V4 were discussed. – It is important that we meet, that we exchange views, so that we can say what our views are on cooperation with foreign countries, on EU problems. We have the same problems, we live in the same environment – said Lipavsky.
He also said that funds from the special Visegrad Fund will go not only to support Ukraine, but also Moldova. – We agreed that we will also allocate these funds to Moldova, which is very important because this country is going through difficult times – stressed the head of the Czech Foreign Ministry.
Rau: The Visegrad Group will continue to work together
Minister Rau said that he was very happy that the Visegrad Group could meet again at the level of ministers. – We managed to raise some important issues that unite us, and this was possible because in a frank, open discussion, we decided that things that are currently difficult for us to agree on will be pushed aside – he said.
The chief of Polish diplomacy explained that the countries recognized “different approaches to matters of a geopolitical nature, but also to matters that our part of Europe lives by.” “Of course, the Russian aggression against Ukraine was in the most prominent place,” said the chief of Polish diplomacy.
He added that the ministers then moved on to issues where they were in complete agreement. – Here we promised ourselves that we will continue to act together, confirming our current position regarding immigration, infrastructure, transport, but of course also the Visegrad Fund – said the minister.
He informed that the ministers of the V4 group agreed that they would meet regularly and try to act jointly on matters that did not raise any doubts between them. – Together we are much more effective and only in this way can we be successful together in our part of Europe – concluded Rau.
Szijjarto: together we achieved much more
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary Peter Szijjarto he stressed that his country implements foreign policy in such a way as to improve the standard of living of Hungarians and to be able to defend national interests. At the same time, he emphasized that all this can be implemented on the basis of “mutual respect and respect.
– And we can do all this in the Visegrad Group. When it comes to cooperation, all four countries have been successful in doing so. When we are in this Visegrad Group, we achieved much more than if we tried to achieve it individually – said Szijjarto.
He drew attention to the importance of economic cooperation and benefits for all countries of the Visegrad Group. He also emphasized common challenges in the area of security and preventing illegal migration. He noted that this year Hungary prevented 250,000 illegal immigrants from crossing the border.
Main photo source: Mateusz Marek/PAP/EPA