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V4 agree on feasibility study for high-speed rail link

Transport ministers of the Visegrád Group - Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia - have agreed to draw up a feasibility study for the construction of an express railway connecting their countries, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó told state news wire MTI Wednesday in Krynica, Poland.  

The rail line would connect Budapest, Bratislava, Brno and Warsaw, and travel at a top speed of more than 250 km/h, Szijjártó said. The Hungarian government is allocating HUF 1.5 billion for the study, which will be completed by the autumn of 2019, he added. 

Szijjártó was participating at the 28th Krynica Economic Forum. During the forum, he met for bilateral talks with Polish Minister of Infrastructure and Construction Andrzej Adamczyk, Slovakiaʼs Minister of Transport, Construction and Regional Development Árpád Érsek, and Polish Minister of Labor and Social Policy Elżbieta Rafalska.

The minister also had meetings with executives of Polish national air carrier LOT, the U.K.ʼs Minister for the Cabinet Office David Lidington, and Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Valeri Simeonov.

Also Wednesday, it was reported that Hungary, Poland, Ukraine and Slovakia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on establishing and drafting a Carpathian Region Strategy, Minister of Finance Mihály Varga said at the forum. 

Two years of work have gone into shaping the strategy, which could support progress in the region by developing competitiveness, environmental efficiency, transport and digital infrastructure, and institutional cooperation, Varga explained.

The Czech Republic, Romania, Moldova and Serbia will join the initiative later, the minister noted, adding that it is hoped that the goals of the strategy may be achieved by drawing on national, European Union, institutional or private funding.