PRAGUE, 12 Oct – PRIME. Topics of the energy crisis and the conflict in Ukraine dominated the summit of the presidents of the “Visegrad Four” (Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary – V4), which took place on Tuesday in Bratislava, the Slovak online publication Teraz reported.
The meeting was attended by the Presidents of Slovakia Zuzana Chaputova, Hungary Katalin Novak, Poland Andrzej Duda and Czech Republic Milos Zeman.
“While discussing the situation in Ukraine, the heads of state agreed on the need for further assistance to this country, and also supported sanctions against the Russian Federation. President Duda, referring to a telephone conversation with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, said at the meeting that an extraordinary summit of the alliance could be held next week “, the message says.
The presidents also stressed in their speeches that they do not see a big problem in the fact that Hungary refrains from military assistance to Ukraine, unlike the other three countries of the Visegrad Four. According to Chaputova, it is necessary to respect the various positions on this issue. In turn, Duda stressed that everyone, they say, helps as best they can. And Zeman noted that all four countries most actively helped and are helping hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees.
When discussing energy problems, according to the channel, the presidents partly disagreed on the causes and measures to overcome the crisis. In particular, Zeman pointed to the negative impact on energy prices of the EU Green Deal project (“Green Deal”). The Czech president also believes that one should not rush to abandon traditional energy sources. According to Zeman, with all due respect to the environment and careful care of it, first of all, we must still think about the needs of people.
The current meeting was the last summit of the V4 group, in which Zeman took part, his presidential mandate ends on March 8, 2023. Parting with the participants of the meeting, Zeman noted the “important contribution” to the solution of European problems that the Visegrad Four makes, and at the same time proposed turning it into the “five” by admitting Slovenia to the group.
Russia has previously sent a note to NATO countries because of the supply of weapons to Ukraine. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted that any cargo that contains weapons for Ukraine will become a legitimate target for Russia. The Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation stated that the NATO countries are “playing with fire” by supplying weapons to Ukraine. Press Secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov noted that pumping Ukraine with weapons from the West does not contribute to the success of Russian-Ukrainian negotiations and will have a negative effect.
After the start of a special military operation in Ukraine, the West stepped up sanctions pressure on Russia, which led to an increase in prices for electricity, fuel and food in Europe and the United States. At the same time, as Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed out, the policy of containing and weakening Russia is a long-term strategy of the West, and sanctions have dealt a serious blow to the entire global economy.