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V4 defense ministers support Ukraine’s NATO bid

Defense ministers of the Visegrád Four (V4) countries of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary supported Ukraine’s efforts to join euro-Atlantic structures, Czech Defense Minister Vlasta Parkanova said after their meeting on Friday.

The ministers talked about the military operation of EU and NATO, said Parkanova, who chaired the V4 meeting said.

The issue of NATO defense transformation is also one of their topic during the meeting, Parkanova added. Ukraine was also invited to the Prague meeting. In a joint statement, the ministers also supported the sovereignty and integrity of Georgia. “We confirmed our will to assist Georgia in its effort to join euro-Atlantic and European structures,” ministers said in the statement.

V4 foreign ministers also supported the ambition of Ukraine and Georgia to become members of NATO during their meeting in Prague on Wednesday. They said that the integration of Ukraine in NATO’s Membership Action Plan (MAP) would enhance political and security cooperation between Kiev and NATO. The V4 group was formed in 1991 in Visegrad, Hungary by Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, with the aim to strengthen cooperation among member countries. After the split of Czechoslovakia into two successor states it was renamed as V4. The activities of the group include meetings of presidents, prime ministers, ministers, chiefs-of-staff and supreme courts’ heads.

(BBJ 26.iv.08)