Czech Foreign Affairs Minister Karel Schwarzenberg described the Visegrad Group (V4) as ‘almost a big girl’ at a news conference which followed a meeting of V4 foreign ministers in Bratislava on Tuesday, September 14. The V4 groups the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.
Schwarzenberg was alluding to the V4’s age: it was founded in 1991, nineteen years ago. He said the group was leaving behind certain illusions, typical for teenage girls. “We are adults, we have undergone some development. We have to work hard to prove ourselves,” he said, as quoted by the SITA newswire. Schwarzenberg believes that the V4 is more pragmatic than in the past. He stressed that its members’ common future depends on mutual cooperation but said the V4’s development to date has been very good.
On Tuesday, V4 foreign affairs ministers discussed the preparation of EU financial plans for 2014 to 2020, transatlantic relations, the US missile defence system, and cooperation in diplomatic activities.
Schwarzenberg also spoke about the Nabucco pipeline project, designed to transport natural gas from central Asia and the Caspian to Europe without crossing Russia. “To be honest, we are missing support for the Nabucco project from the European Union,” Schwarzenberg stated during a panel discussion. “We have to work to accelerate development in this area ... Time is money, but not just money,” he said. Schwarzenberg also warned that in addition to natural gas, sources of crude oil should also be diversified. He was referring principally to the Druzhba oil pipeline from Russia, whose service life, according to some experts, could end soon.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
15. Sep 2010 at 14:00