Warsaw, April 8 (special CTK correspondent) – Czech and Polish ministers discussed the future of the Visegrad Four (V4) at their intergovernmental consultations Friday and Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said the group has a potential to create European politics and propose quality solutions.
The V4 is comprised of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka specially mentioned negotiations about transport, energy and the environment.
Poland will take over the V4 presidency from the Czech Republic in July and it wants to carry on the topics the Czechs have tabled.
At a press conference after their talks, Sobotka said interconnection between the Czech D11 motorway and the Polish S3 expressway that would continue as far as the Baltic Sea is one of the two governments’ priorities.
“We also discussed modernisation of the railway link between Ostrava, north Moravia, and Katowice and Warsaw,” Sobotka wrote on Twitter.
An improvement in the quality of air in Silesia on the Polish side of the border and the Czech Moravia-Silesia Region was also discussed, Sobotka said and added that a solution should be sought on V4 level.
At the press conference, Sobotka also pleaded for the completion of the north-south interconnection of the two countries’ gas distribution systems, known as Stork II.
Szydlo said both countries are interested in creating joint projects in the economic and cultural fields and in infrastructure.
“We want Polish firms to invest in the Czech Republic and the Czech in Poland,” Szydlo said.
Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek and his counterpart Witold Waszczykowski and Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz spoke about the NATO summit to be held in Warsaw in July, and relations with Russia.
“I said our priority is promoting relations of NATO and the EU. We expect the NATO summit in Warsaw to clearly define the NATO-Russia relations. Any form of dialogue with the Russian Federation must not violate our unity and collective security, however. It is of key importance that the Alliance speak with one voice,” he wrote on Twitter.
Zaoralek said after the talks that the Czech Republic respect the Polish fears of Russia and this is why it would support the Polish demand for strengthening the protection of NATO’s Eastern wing.
Zaoralek pointed to several cases of Russian drones crossing the Polish border.
Despite a certain tension in relations between Moscow and Warsaw, a dialogue with Russia is necessary, which Poles perceive, Zaoralek said.
The talks also touched upon the territorial settlement with Poland, Sobotka said. Poland lost 368 hectares of land when the border was set in 1958. The Czech Republic wants to compensate it with another land.
Sobotka said Poles can understand that it was not easy for the Czech Republic to prepare the whole transaction mainly due to the church property restitution. He added that the both countries’ foreign affairs ministries should start preparing drafts of the respective international treaty.
Environment Minister Richard Brabec (ANO) mainly spoke about the quality of air along the Polish border in the Moravia-Silesia Region and the planned extension of mining in the Polish brown coal mine in Turow.
Brabec said the extended mining could mainly endanger the sources of water in the Frydlant vicinity for 30,000 people.
“Much will depend on how the Poles will approach the matter, whether they will be willing to release realistic information because they undoubtedly have it. We will be defending the interests of our citizens and the Czech Republic because it (the mining) will affect them,” Brabec told CTK.
After the plenary meeting, the Czech ministers visited the Warsaw Uprising Museum. Sobotka laid flowers to the commemorative plaque of former president Lech Kaczynski who died in an air accident near Smolensk, Russia, in 2010.