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UPDATE: Polish PM in Prague looks to strengthen regional unity

27.02.2024 14:20
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has embarked on a diplomatic visit to Prague, meeting with his Czech counterpart Petr Fiala and engaging in discussions with leaders from Hungary and Slovakia.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and his Czech counterpart Petr Fiala.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and his Czech counterpart Petr Fiala.Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

These four countries together form a regional cooperation platform known as the Visegrad Group (V4).

The talks were expected to focus on defense, energy cooperation and the ongoing war in Ukraine, highlighting the group's commitment to addressing key regional challenges.

However, the V4 faces internal divisions, particularly regarding the war in Ukraine, with Hungary and Slovakia showing resistance to military support for Kyiv.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has faced criticism for echoing the Russian narrative, underscoring the complexities within the group's dynamics.

Despite these differences, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala emphasizes the importance of dialogue, saying, "What is the alternative? If we don't talk, it could block important decisions at the EU level."

The Polish prime minister's visit to Prague also includes a meeting with Czech President Petr Pavel at Hradčany Castle.

Amid changes in Polish foreign policy under the new government, with a shift back to the European mainstream, the Czech Republic seeks to ensure that its relationship with Poland remains a priority, officials have said.

In an interview with public broadcaster Polish Radio, Pavlína Janebová, an analyst with expertise in Polish-Czech relations, expressed concerns over potential shifts in focus but highlighted the ongoing efforts to maintain strong bilateral ties.

“The Polish government has signaled a desire to strengthen relations with Western European countries," Janebová told Polish Radio. "Consequently, for the Czech Republic, its attention may not be enough. The Czech side is now looking for a way to ensure that Polish-Czech relations remain, to some extent, a priority for Poland as well.


Source: Polskie Radio, IAR