FM Szijjártó: V4 countries help Lithuania contain migrants

The countries of the Visegrad group, which speak out against the compulsory resettlement quotas and the immigration policy of Brussels, have agreed to help Lithuania to contain the wave of refugees from Belarus, said Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó after talks with his V4 colleagues on Monday.

The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia will specify the details in the coming days and coordinate the various forms of aid for Lithuania, including human resources, technical equipment and the erection of a border fence, said Szijjártó at a press conference in front of the Komárom town hall in northern Hungary.

“The Visegrad countries will work together to help their Lithuanian friends defend the European Union’s external borders,” he said.

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Foreign Minister Szijjártó welcomed the fact that “the EU has finally acted united, swiftly, decisively and energetically.”

Szijjártó said the Hungarian Presidency of the Visegrad Group had given priority to promoting a rapid economic recovery across the region.

Since tax increases would not help restart the economy, Hungary continues to oppose the introduction of the global minimum tax, he said.

Szijjártó praised the four countries for budgetary and financial discipline, saying: “Those who are unable to conduct disciplined policies should not impose higher taxes on us due to their incorrect financial policies.”

Hungary’s trade with its three Visegrad partners amounted to 30 billion euros last year, the minister said. He added that the three affected countries accounted for 15 percent of Hungary’s trade turnover in 2020 and the first four months of this year.

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Visegrad countries value freedom very much and reject external pressure, said Németh, referring to the recent “movements of the European Union that can be seen as a kind of external pressure”.

Slovak counterpart Ivan Korcok told the press conference that the foreign ministers’ exchange of views on the future of the EU had been extremely useful and important. He said that in Slovakia and in the Visegrad group it should be stated that “we cannot see the danger that the EU is moving towards a superstate” and has ambitions to become an empire. At the same time, it must be made clear that the EU is not above criticism, he added.

The Visegrad group should say more often that there is no alternative to the EU and the countries should discuss more often “what and how we want to do in the EU,” he said.

Korcok and Czech counterpart Jan Kohout both said their respective countries supported Lithuania and praised the planned program of the Hungarian V4 presidency.

Kohout said the objectives of the Hungarian Presidency are important not only for Central Europe but for the whole of Europe and welcomed its primary objective of strengthening neighborly relations.

Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau said Poland wanted the European people to be more involved in the debate on the future of the EU. So far, only politicians have seen how EU institutions work, but the majority of their decisions concern ordinary citizens, he added.

Commenting on the migration situation in Lithuania, he noted “the extraordinary pressure of the Lukashenka regime” and said that Vilnius had asked each of the V4 countries separately for help and that the group wanted to coordinate their efforts for help by acting as a “strong advocate” occurs ”for Lithuania“ when the Baltic country faces such an unprecedented challenge ”.

Selected photo by Zsolt Szigetváry / MTI

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