The Visegrad Group (V4) should engage in closer cooperation in the area of defence and share certain military capabilities, the representatives of the group’s member states, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, agreed during the Bratislava Global Security Forum (GLOBSEC). The initiative will be promoted in the future by the DAV4 working group, the TASR newswire reported.
“The purpose of regional cooperation within the V4 should not be about saving money ... because most of our countries carried out drastic cuts in defence budgets,” said one of the DAV4 members and the director of Czech CEVRO Institute, Jan Jireš. “We want to save money in order to spend it more efficiently, and that means keeping the money within the system.”
Although the idea of such cooperation is not new, representatives of DAV4 believe that the initiative will be successful this time due to the changing economic and political situation.
The president and CEO of the International Centre for Democratic Transition in Hungary, István Gyarmati, pointed to the improved probability of such cooperation taking place, as the level of trust among V4 countries is much higher than it was in the past.
“Twenty years ago, there was no such trust among some V4 members,” he said, as quoted by TASR. “Now we have become used to working together. Maybe we do not trust each other 100 percent, but then, no one does.”
DAV4 representatives do not think that complicated relations between Budapest and Bratislava could hamper potential V4 cooperation.
“We face pretty much the same security challenges, we are part of the same region and we are neighbours, no matter what kind of government is in power,” said the president of the Slovak Atlantic Commission (SAC), Rastislav Káčer, to TASR. “It is necessary to start small with less ambitious projects.”
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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