Visegrad Group leaders argued about Russia-Ukraine war after summit

The prime ministers of the four Visegrad countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary) publicly expressed different views on the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine after the summit on February 27 in Prague.

At a press conference after the summit, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala admitted that the Visegrad Four differed in their views on the causes of Russian aggression in Ukraine and the forms of assistance they were ready to provide to Kyiv.

The Czech Republic and Poland provide military assistance to Ukraine, according to the Czech Prime Minister, while Hungary and Slovakia do not share this position but are ready to join in other ways, such as humanitarian or financial.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban confirmed this, agreeing that Russia’s aggression violates international law and that Ukraine requires assistance, but stated that Hungary will not provide weapons to Kyiv.

Orban also called for early peace talks, saying “the sooner the better.” Fiala publicly disagreed with him; he emphasized that he did not believe in pacifist solutions and that by giving in to the aggressor, long-term peace could be achieved.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico agreed with his Hungarian counterpart. He stated that he recognized and respected Ukraine’s independence. But he also noted that both Ukraine and the Russian Federation need security guarantees.

Slovak Prime Minister Fico and Hungarian Prime Minister Orban, known for their pro-Russian statements, encountered protests with posters about “Putin’s henchmen” in Prague.

After the Visegrad summit, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk expressed hope that the countries could at least partially cooperate in helping Ukraine and that support for Kyiv “should be more unambiguous.”

But he, like Fiala, rejected calls for “speedy” negotiations: “The moral, political, and historical assessment of what is happening in Ukraine today must be clear. There is no room for negotiations on such issues as assessing who is the victim and who is the aggressor.”

On the second anniversary of the full-scale war, Fico said that the war began “with the rampage of Ukrainian neo-Nazis.” Earlier this week, he convened the security council related to the meeting of allies in Paris to support Ukraine.

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