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V4 premiers concerned about global rise in food prices

The premiers of the Visegrad Four countries (Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland) are concerned about the global rise in food prices, raw materials and energy, which they say represents an enormous burden for ordinary people, according to a joint communiqué from the premiers presented by Slovak Prime Minister Iveta Radičová after a seven-nation summit held on Tuesday, February 15, in Bratislava.

The premiers of the Visegrad Four countries (Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland) are concerned about the global rise in food prices, raw materials and energy, which they say represents an enormous burden for ordinary people, according to a joint communiqué from the premiers presented by Slovak Prime Minister Iveta Radičová after a seven-nation summit held on Tuesday, February 15, in Bratislava.

The price problem can’t be resolved at the national level, but must include the entire EU, the leaders at the summit, which marked the 20th anniversary of the V4, concurred. The European Council should therefore discuss the issue at its next summit in March, Radičová said, as reported by the TASR newswire.

The chancellors of Germany (Angela Merkel) and Austria (Werner Faymann), who joined the summit in the afternoon, voiced their own concern about the issue. The premiers of the V4, Germany, Austria and Ukraine also adopted a resolution on the current situation in Belarus, expressing concern about the state of human rights there following a presidential election late last year during which opposition candidates and supporters faced intimidation in imprisonment.

International discussions are vital for energy security in the central European region and the entire EU, the premiers of the seven countries agreed. The issue is key for the V4, according to Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas. Chancellor Faymann expressed support for the two planned gas pipelines in southern Europe – Nabucco (Turkey-Bulgaria-Romania-Hungary-Austria) and South Stream (Russia-Bulgaria-the Balkans-Hungary-Austria). “We also support projects of renewable energy resources,” said Faymann, who reiterated his country’s opposition to nuclear energy.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov confirmed Ukraine's interest in securing reliable deliveries of energy resources to central Europe. He noted that the Ukrainian route is the shortest and cheapest one.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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