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Slovakia to aid Ukraine in energy and security reforms

THE VISEGRAD Group (V4) countries, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, will provide aid to Ukraine, with each country targeting a specific sphere, Slovakia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák said during the visit of V4 representatives to Kiev on December 16.

THE VISEGRAD Group (V4) countries, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, will provide aid to Ukraine, with each country targeting a specific sphere, Slovakia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák said during the visit of V4 representatives to Kiev on December 16.

The joint V4 visit to Ukraine was organised at the initiative of Slovakia, which currently chairs the group. The Czech Republic was represented by Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek, Poland by his counterpart Grzegorz Schetyna and Hungary by Foreign Affairs Ministry State Secretary László Szabó. The delegates met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Foreign Affairs Minister Pavel Klimkin and Verkhovna Rada (the parliament) vice-chair Oksana Syroyid, the TASR newswire reported.

The purpose of the visit was to provide specific aid with the reforms as well as to confirm the support for Ukraine in the process of seeking political resolution of the conflict in the country’s eastern regions.

According to Lajčák, Slovakia will assume the auspices over the reforms in the sphere of energy security and the security sector, the Czech Republic in the building of civic society, media and education, Poland in the field of decentralisation of regional and municipal administration and public finance reform, whereas Hungary will help with the support of small- and medium-sized enterprises, TASR wrote.

As for the reforms, Lajčák stressed that each V4 country underwent a similarly challenging yet ultimately successful process and experiences from it are now being offered to Kiev.

“We cannot carry out the reforms on your behalf, however,” Lajčák said, as quoted by TASR. “Reforms will be challenging, yet there is no alternative. What you can be sure of, though, is our support.”

At a press conference, Klimkin thanked the V4 countries for their effort to conclude the peace process in eastern Ukraine and their contribution to Ukrainian bid of integrating into EU. He voiced his conviction that a similar meeting of V4+Ukraine: that President Poroshenko light-heartedly called Visegrad Five - will become commonplace as of next year.

Czech Foreign Affairs Minister Zaorálek stressed that reforms as well as the fight against corruption are inevitable for Kiev.

“We do not want to see only new legislation, but rather specific progress,” Zaorálek said, as quoted by TASR, referring to specific spheres such as the need for a more transparent energy market and the installation of gas flow meters on pipelines at the Ukrainian-Russian border. “We are ready to help, but all is in your own hands.”

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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Topic: Energy


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