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Strength in unity

Text: Ministry of Defence | Photo: Bence Jánosa |  10:39 June 13, 2023

“The V4 is united, we continue to help each other closely and in alliance, adhering to a core principle of the Visegrád Group”, said the Minister of Defence at the meeting of V4 defence ministers in the High Tatras on Monday, 12 June.

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Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky underlined that an excellent example of the above is the airspace policing agreement signed at the meeting of V4 ministers, under which Hungary, together with the Czech Republic and Poland, is to provide the joint protection of Slovakia’s airspace until the end of 2024, with the Gripen fighter jets of the Hungarian Air Force assuming another honorable and responsible task.

The minister added that this is another sign that while some have been burying the Visegrád cooperation, the alliance is very much alive, and is able and willing to work together for the security and prosperity of our region. Speaking about the meeting, he said that the war that had been going on for more than a year in the neighborhood of the region has had its effects felt mostly in the region, which necessitates even more the cooperation among the four countries. Germany, too, is a close partner in this, and so on the first day of the discussions, the V4 ministers reviewed the key defence topics together with the parliamentary state secretary of the German ministry of defence. In the present situation, strengthening defence capabilities is in the best joint interest of the V4 countries. Our countries are conducting continuous professional discussion about the reinforcement of NATO’s eastern flank, in which all four V4 countries are playing important roles – emphasized the Minister of Defence.

He added that the regular activation of the EU V4 Battle Group is the most visible project in the framework of the European Union, and it has been on standby already for the third time in the first half of 2023 as the core of the EU Rapid Deployment Capacity (RDC).

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Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky also noted that the participants of the meeting had discussed the impacts of the war in Ukraine on the regional security situation, as well as the opportunities of V4 countries for supporting Ukraine. The minister pointed out that Hungary continues to do all it can to mitigate the humanitarian crisis caused by the war.

“At the same time, we also underlined that our country – like NATO and the EU in general – is interested in achieving peace as soon as possible, and that Hungary continues not to transport any lethal weapons to Ukraine”, he added. The Minister of Defence emphasized that although the Visegrád Four countries have different positions on the roadmap to end the war, their relations continue to bear the hallmark of dialogue and cooperation in policy-related pragmatic issues.

The Czech Republic is going to take over the V4 presidency as from 1 July 2023.

(Press release of the Ministry of Defence)