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Slovak authorities oppose idea of V4 expansion

Slovakia wants to keep the current form of the Visegrad Group (V4), which comprises Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary, said President Ivan Gašparovič, in a response to the statement of his Czech counterpart Miloš Zeman who proposed the idea of expanding the grouping by adding Slovenia, the TASR newswire reported on April 5.

Slovakia wants to keep the current form of the Visegrad Group (V4), which comprises Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary, said President Ivan Gašparovič, in a response to the statement of his Czech counterpart Miloš Zeman who proposed the idea of expanding the grouping by adding Slovenia, the TASR newswire reported on April 5.

Zeman revisited the idea following failed attempts to this effect from the era when he served as the Czech prime minister between 1998 and 2002.

“Now that I’m the president, perhaps we can make this happen in conjunction with the other member countries,” said Zeman, as quoted by TASR, after meeting Gašparovič in Bratislava on April 4.

Gašparovič responded that the V4 is a prestigious ‘brand’ that enjoys respect not only in the European Union, but also in broader international forums.

The Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry commented on the idea in such a way so as to not oppose the idea of inviting other countries to the group’s meetings in a sort of V4-plus format. This was the case for a recent V4 summit in Poland, in which German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande participated.

“Over the more than 22 years of the V4’s existence, naturally, various proposals about expanding it have been made,” said spokesperson for the president Marek Trubač, as quoted by TASR. “They have never been approved through consensus, however, which means that V4 countries de facto support the further existence of the grouping in its traditional make-up. Slovakia maintains this view as well.”

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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