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Instead of V4, a V2+2 Summit Takes Place in Prague

Hungary Today 2024.02.27.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (L), Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala (R), Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk (R2) and Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico (L2) at the Visegrád Group’s heads of government summit in Prague.

Visegrád prime ministers gathered for a V4 summit in Prague on Tuesday. The heads of government of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia discussed topics such as energy security, the strategic agenda of the European Union, illegal migration and support for the International Visegrád Fund, dersi.rtvs.sk reports.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala explained ahead of the V4 meeting that Tuesday will show whether this format still makes sense or has already outlived its purpose. He was not particularly looking forward to the meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico with whom he disagreed on some important issues, but as he said, there was no other alternative. “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,” he said on Monday.

Before the summit, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó wrote in a social media post: “There are many decisions facing the European Union that will have a profound impact not only on the future of Europe, but also on the lives of the countries of Central Europe in particular. It would be good to maintain cooperation on these issues as well.

We, for our part, are ready to do so, and it would be a pity to let the results we have achieved so far go to waste: no illegal migrants in our countries, cheap and safe nuclear energy, protection of our farmers and low tax rates.”

Petr Fiala said after the meeting on Tuesday that “we have found that there are some things on which we agree and some topics on which it makes sense for our countries to cooperate,” reports novinky.cz.  Opinions differ on the forms of assistance to Ukraine. According to the Czech prime minister, they had “long, open and frank negotiations.” At the same time, he said that despite the agreement on Russia’s violation of international law and the need to help Ukraine, “the differences have not changed.” Petr Fiala was able to hold a dialogue with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, while Robert Fico’s opinions were closer to Hungarian Prime Minister’s.

“The conflict in Ukraine does not have a military solution,” Robert Fico said at the press conference. He believes that if the war continues in two years, we will be in the same situation. He then expanded this thesis by claiming that Ukraine cannot win even if it acquires all the weapons in the world.

On this subject, Viktor Orbán said that the war can only be ended by negotiations, which should take place as soon as possible. He noted that Hungary is sending humanitarian aid to Ukraine, training doctors and helping refugees, but the country does not want to participate in the military aid, writes denikn.cz.

We agree that Russia’s attack on Ukraine is a violation of international law. Ukraine needs to be helped. This is the right position. From Hungary’s point of view, there is a special aspect, as Hungary does not want to have a common border with Russia. As for this period, we have bad memories of it,”

he stressed, referring to the time of the Soviet Union.

Photo: MTI/Miniszterelnöki Sajtóiroda/Benko Vivien Cher

His Czech counterpart commented that it is not possible to make concessions to Russia, which can be done through increased aid to Ukraine. “I do not believe in pacifist solutions, that if you give in to the aggressor you will achieve long-term peace,” the Czech prime minister added, contradicting Fico’s earlier assertion that Monday’s meeting called by French President Emmanuel Macron was not about peace, but only about war.

Press conference after the summit. Photo: MTI/Miniszterelnöki Sajtóiroda/Benko Vivien Cher

Donald Tusk reminded the Slovak and the Hungarian prime ministers of the motives that gave rise to the V4. “We have different approaches, but today we discussed how we can act for Ukraine,” the Polish prime minister said. “It will be better if the V4 is in solidarity,” he said, adding that he was optimistic after today’s meeting.

Today’s meeting has convinced me that the Visegrád Group is alive,”

Viktor Orbán emphasized, referring to persistent differences.

After the meeting, Robert Fico stressed the importance of the issues discussed by the politicians. He highlighted the important role he sees the V4 playing in the framework of the euro area negotiations. On the differing views on the resolution of the conflict in Ukraine, he noted that “the war will end and the differences will disappear.”

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

Petr Fiala disagrees on several key issues with his Hungarian and Slovak counterparts.Continue reading

Via dersi.rtvs.sk, novinky.cz, denikn.cz; Featured image: MTI/Miniszterelnöki Sajtóiroda/Benko Vivien Cher

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