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Czech PM Not Pleased to Speak to Viktor Orbán and Robert Fico at V4 Summit

MTI-Hungary Today 2024.02.27.
An earlier photo of Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala with EC President Ursula von der Leyen

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala has invited his Visegrád partners (Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, and Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico) to Prague for a summit of heads of government on Tuesday. According to the Prague government office, the situation in Ukraine will be one of the main topics of the summit. Before that, Petr Fiala will meet separately with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

“The Visegrád heads of government summits are important for the search for a European consensus,” Petr Fiala said at the Prague airport on Monday, before flying to an international meeting in Paris to discuss further support for Ukraine, adding that the talks with Robert Fico and Viktor Orbán were not a “great pleasure” for him. Robert Fico’s recent statements on Ukraine will influence Tuesday’s summit, stressed the Czech prime minister.

In several statements in recent days, the Slovak prime minister has put into perspective the need to help Ukraine, although he reiterated his earlier rejection of sending arms to Ukraine and described the Western countries’ strategy towards Ukraine as “unsuccessful,”

the Czech CTK news agency reported.

On Monday, Fiala said that his opinion was in stark contrast to the Slovak Prime Minister’s. “I had no comment on Robert Fico’s laying of flowers on the grave of Gustáv Husák” (the last Czechoslovak communist head of state). “But now a comment is necessary. We all want peace, but there is only one way to achieve it, and that is to prevent the aggressor from achieving his goals. We will not back down in the face of aggressive war, in the face of evil, but we will help those who defend themselves against unjust aggression,” the Czech Prime Minister said. “Nor can I accept the interpretation that the disputes are being stirred up by the Ukrainians or the Western states. The culprit is the aggressive Russian policy, that is clear,” Fiala underlined.

I cannot say that it is the greatest pleasure for me to meet colleagues with whom I actually disagree on a number of key issues. I am thinking of the Hungarian and Slovak Prime Ministers.

Nevertheless, we have to have a dialogue, somebody has to do it,” the Czech Prime Minister said. “We have to find unity on key issues for the European Union, although it is difficult. That is why the V4 meeting is necessary,” he told journalists. “The easiest thing would be not to talk to each other, but then what could happen is that all EU aid would be blocked. I do not think this is the right way to go,” the Czech politician stressed.

Robert Fico and Viktor Orbán on January 16 in Budapest. Photo: Facebook/Orbán Viktor

In response to a question, Fiala stressed that the Czech Republic had no plans to deploy troops to Ukraine. This was also a reaction to a statement by his Slovak counterpart, who said the same thing on Monday. According to CTK, Czech Defense Minister Jana Cernochová, when asked about this at another press conference, said that she had not heard that any NATO member state was planning to send troops to Ukraine, as Fico had said.

In his Facebook post, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó welcomed the fact that the Visegrád prime ministers were meeting again today after a long time.

“The V4 has historical merit, and looking at current developments in Europe, close cooperation in Central Europe will be essential to prevent a series of dangerous decisions from Brussels. Only together can we prevent the compulsory distribution of illegal migrants, the influx of cheap Ukrainian grain that is destroying our farmers, tax harmonization that seeks to impose tax increases that could destroy our competitiveness, and the ideological discrimination against nuclear energy,” he stated.

Of course, we have different views on the European response strategy to the war in Ukraine and on the question of peace, but we are ready to continue cooperation in areas where our national interests coincide,”

the politician concluded.

The Government Will Not Participate in Supporting Arms Transfers to Ukraine
The Government Will Not Participate in Supporting Arms Transfers to Ukraine

Sending weapons to Ukraine would prolong the war, and more people would die, said the foreign minister.Continue reading

Via MTI, Featured image: Facebook Petr Fiala

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