Visegrád Four foreign ministers evoke history in statement on Ukraine

World

As part of a larger meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels, those of the Visegrád Four nations (Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia) met again to discuss the Ukraine issue and released a joint statement.

Labeling the then-seemingly inevitable Russian military action in Ukraine as “a serious escalation,” the Visegrád ministers stated in part that “We condemn all action threatening the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and call on to decrease the tensions immediately through dialogue, in full respect of Ukrainian and international law and in line with the provisions of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum.” Further, “The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia are appalled to witness a military intervention in 21st-century Europe akin to their own experiences in 1956, 1968 and 1981.”

In calling on Russia “to respect its international commitments and legal obligations,” the group emphasized its “solidarity with the people and Government of Ukraine and reiterate their strong commitment to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. It is more important than ever to ensure that the government takes measures which unify the country, and that it protects the rights of all Ukraine’s citizens, including those of cultural, national and linguistic minority groups, in the spirit of inclusiveness.”

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