Press Advisories

15. 5. 2014 20:07

Premier Sobotka: Long-Term Defense Cooperation of V4 Countries Is Imperative

Mezinárodní bezpečnostní fórum GLOBSEC 2014 se konalo 15. května 2014 v Bratislavě
The GLOBSEC 2014 international security forum was held in Bratislava on 15 May 2014.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has attended the GLOBSEC international forum held in Bratislava, where he and other Visegrad Group representatives debated the security situation in Europe and the need to strengthen cooperation on defense-related issues between V4 countries.

During a speech delivered at the forum, Sobotka praised GLOBSEC as an annual contribution that underscores the importance of the Visegrad Group as a platform for deepening security cooperation. In view of the recent developments in Ukraine and their consequences for the overall security situation in Europe, the main topic of this year's edition of the conference was security. The prime minister confirmed that, similarly as other Visegrad Group countries, the Czech Republic regards NATO as the main guarantor of security.

During a joint meeting, V4 representatives discussed possible ways for developing capabilities needed to organize territorial defense and effective cooperation between the armed forces of V4 member countries, for instance during the joint acquisition or deployment of military equipment.

In this regard, Sobotka drew attention to the V4 Long-Term Cooperation Vision, a document signed by defense ministers in Visegrad, Hungary last March with a view to clarifying V4's security-related ambitions and delineating the goals of the Visegrad Group's defense cooperation vis-?-vis the EU, NATO, and individual allied and partner countries, the U.S. in particular.

Prime Minister Sobotka also confirmed that the Czech Republic supports the unity, sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Ukraine and, at the same time, condemns all violations thereof by Russia.

The Visegrad Group's prime ministers also discussed the prospects of aiding Ukraine in view of their countries' historical experience with democratic transformation and establishment of the rule of law and civil society.

Another issue discussed at the Visegrad Group meeting was the impact of the Ukraine crisis on the energy sector. The recent developments have proved that the V4 made the right decision in making energy security one of the key priorities of mutual cooperation during the past two years. The Czech premier emphasized that V4 countries are in many regards in a similar starting situation as regards energy supplies and, given their status of neighbors, must work closely together in diversifying energy sources and transport routes.

The most pressing issue is the strengthening of pipelines that interconnect gas networks in the north-south direction, including the completion of a liquefied natural gas terminal in Świnoujście, Poland that will allow gas to be imported from new territories outside Europe. Further, the construction of infrastructure, where lacking, will facilitate the integration of the regional gas market, which will, in turn, reinforce the energy security of the Czech Republic and the other V4 countries. Likewise, Visegrad Group countries will bolster interconnectors between their crude oil infrastructure and will integrate their electricity markets.

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