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V4 agrees on defence, nuclear energy

THE VISEGRAD Group (V4) countries will have their own joint combat unit in 2016, according to an agreement made by the prime ministers of Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, at the meeting held in Budapest on October 14. The PMs also discussed the importance of nuclear energy for the European economy, the TASR newswire reported.

THE VISEGRAD Group (V4) countries will have their own joint combat unit in 2016, according to an agreement made by the prime ministers of Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, at the meeting held in Budapest on October 14. The PMs also discussed the importance of nuclear energy for the European economy, the TASR newswire reported.

The V4 countries will draw up a joint defence strategy and prepare annual military training of their armed forces. The V4 has a sense of reality and is not dreaming, said Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán after the meeting. The countries realise that circumstances today are not inclined towards increasing military budgets. There is a need for efficient and more harmonised spending, Orbán stressed, as reported by TASR.

Polish PM Donald Tusk emphasised that the unit should not be a one-off venture, but that it should exist beyond 2016, TASR wrote.

The premiers also said during their meeting that nuclear energy is of vital importance for the European economy, as it will not be able to get by without nuclear energy in the future.

“Every country has the right to acquire energy from resources that suit its specific needs, so we expect the EU to be helpful in increasing capacities for nuclear energy,” Orbán said, as quoted by TASR.

He added that the EU should not over regulate in this area. Moreover, countries should start discussing the subsidies for nuclear energy, since it seems to be at a disadvantage compared with energy gained from other resources, Orbán added.

In addition to this, the politicians agreed on the importance of shale gas mining.

“Every country has the right to select an energy mix that it considers to be the most appropriate,” said Slovak PM Robert Fico, as quoted by TASR.

He added that Slovakia rejects the attempts to politicise nuclear energy; a trend that “is becoming perceptible in the EU”, TASR wrote.

“We respect countries that do not produce nuclear energy, but we also expect that they will respect countries that use nuclear power to generate electricity,” Fico said, adding that the European Commission should not be granted more say in the sphere of nuclear energy.

The four premiers also agreed on increasing the budget of the International Visegrad Fund to €8 million next year, and on establishing joint V4 representation in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. Similar representation has existed in Cape Town since 2010, TASR wrote.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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