The Visegrad group (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary), which was on the verge of collapse after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine due to the opposing attitudes of its members towards Moscow, has regained its balance as it studies until the expansion. During the heads of government meeting held in Bratislava, the inclusion of other countries in the region in the forum was discussed, starting with Slovenia.
The proposal was formally presented by Czech President Milos Zeman in the first joint face-to-face meeting since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Zeman acknowledged his appreciation for the fact that all the countries of Visegrad had joined in great efforts to host Ukrainian refugees, and noted that cooperation within the group is as beneficial as other similar forms, citing the Benelux countries as an example.
He noted that “Visegrad has shown its role in preventing attempts to distribute illegal immigrants by quotas between individual European countries”, justifying the desired inclusion of Slovenia with examples of cooperation made between Ljubljana and the capitals of the Visegrad group. Thanks to the gradual convergence of Janez Jansa government.
The leaders of Visegrad and Slovenia met in Ljubljana in July to discuss the agenda of the rotating presidency of the European Council, in an atmosphere of almost brotherhood and complicity, a picture of the bloc that Mark distances with BrusselsYes, on that occasion, the agenda was investment, security and market expansion throughout the Western Balkans. They now discussed issues of energy security, inflation, and possible expansion of the group, conscious of the increasing geostrategic importance they had acquired as the months of war in Ukraine passed.
In a few months in which Germany was in doubt, Estonia, Poland and the Czech Republic came to support Kyiv, both in receiving seven million refugees and in handing over arms. These countries are now the image of the European resistance against Putin. The toughest European measures against Moscow were initially requested by Warsaw and Tallinn, before Germany ended up reluctantly accepting them.
Slovakia, Romania and Polandwhose warnings about an aggressive Russia in Brussels were ignored as hysterical, are now major partners of the United States and NATO, repositories of confidence and greater dynamism, as they are countries that have enjoyed greater economic growth over the past decades.
150 million people
In the east of the European Union, an economic zone of more than 150 million people is being created, which Krakow-based economist Marcin Kedzerski describes as “ serious political and economic competition for the German-French European Union, which also includes Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. In Central European social media, figures like Kaja Klaas are seen as Merkel’s successor.
Among the leaders of Visegrad, there is also a new complicity, as evidenced by the praise for Zeman, whose second presidential term ends early next year. Paul Andrej Duda described him as a “smart and resourceful” politician, while Hungarian President Katalin Novakova acknowledged his track record and would miss him. Still there the differenceCaused by the Kremlin.
Slovak President Zuzana Shaputova noted the inconsistent position of the Visegrad countries on Military aid to Kiev, dAfter Hungary refused to allow Western arms supplies to flow through its territory to Ukraine. About half of Slovaks justify Russia in opinion polls. However, clear steps of convergence and consolidation have been taken between the group’s positions. Zeman, known for his pro-Russian stance before the war, emphasized that Budapest helps Kyiv, for example, in removing mines from Ukrainian lands.