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V4 + Germany Ministerial Meeting: Ukraine, the Balkans, and Energy

March 24th, 2015

The situation in Ukraine, the Western Balkans, the Eastern Partnership countries and energy security were the topics of today’s discussions by foreign ministers of the Visegrad Group (V4) countries and Germany in Bratislava. Germany is one of the major strategic partners of the V4 countries and holds consultations with the V4 on a regular basis.

“We perceive the V4 plus Germany meeting as recognition of the constructive role of this group in shaping the European agenda and developing successful regional cooperation,” stated Minister Miroslav Lajčák on behalf of the V4 presiding country. “Dialogue under the "V4 +" format has proven to be a good platform for discussions with partners on timely foreign political issues and for exchange of observations from our Central European perspective,” he added.

The ministers at this meeting focused on the European Union’s neighbour policy and discussed the situation in Ukraine and developments in other Eastern Partnership countries in the context of the upcoming summit in Riga. They also discussed reform and the integration process in the Western Balkans countries and the issues of energy security and climate policy.

German Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier, in addition to his participation in the V4 + Germany meeting, also held bilateral talks with his Slovak counterpart Miroslav Lajčák, Prime Minister Robert Fico and President Andrej Kiska. In the bilateral deliberations his host, Minister Lajčák, appreciated the importance of the partnership between Slovakia and Germany. “It is a strategic partnership at all levels, including political, economic and intellectual, since our opinions on many issues inside or outside the EU are very close.”

Germany is Slovakia’s largest commercial partner and the third largest investor with about 500 German companies employing about 90,000 people in Slovakia and with no pending issues in bilateral relationships. “In this situation our ambition to maintain intensive dynamics and the high quality in our relationships is important,” stated Minister Lajčák.

Minister Lajčák also appreciated Germany’s constructive role in seeking a peaceful solution to the crisis in Eastern Ukraine.

Source: Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic

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