Visegrad Group to be ‘engine’ of European economy: Hungarian envoy
V4 countries attract a lot of foreign investment from both Far East, Europe, says Hungary's ambassador to Turkiye
The Visegrad Group (V4) will be the “engine” of the European economy in the coming years, Hungary's ambassador to Turkiye said on Wednesday.
V4 is a political alliance of four Central European countries, all of which are members of the EU and NATO.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Viktor Matis said that the V4 countries – Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland – have played an important role in the economic field.
Underlining that the economic development in Western Europe has slowed down significantly, Matis said the economy and trade, in general, grow much faster in V4.
“We also see in every analysis that this situation will not be different in the coming years. In other words, the engine of the European economy will be the V4 countries,” he added.
Stressing that V4 attracts a lot of foreign investment from both the Far East and Europe, he said that automobile production in Europe takes place in V4 countries at a “very significant rate.”
The ambassador said the V4 countries have a large population and influence as a group, even though they are small countries individually.
"When we add the population of these 4 countries, it is as much as France. If we think economically, the trade of V4 countries with Germany is twice the trade between Germany and France, and three times the trade between Germany and Italy,” he said.
“It tells us that we can be more successful by taking a step together rather than taking a step individually,” he added.
Russia, Ukraine tension
Regarding the ongoing tension between Ukraine and Russia, Matis said that if a war breaks out, Ukraine, Russia, and V4 countries will be affected the most.
Noting that there should be a diplomatic solution to the issue, he said there would be more problems if force is used.
"It is very easy to say something from a distance, to make important and serious statements, but V4's request is to find a diplomatic solution to this,” he said, adding that the voice of the region should be heard.
Moscow, according to Ukrainian officials and NATO, has recently amassed more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine, prompting fears that the Kremlin could be planning a military offensive against its ex-Soviet neighbor.
Russia has denied it is preparing to invade and accused Western countries of undermining its security through NATO’s expansion toward its borders.
Russia also issued a list of security demands to the West, including a rollback of troop deployments from some ex-Soviet states, and guarantees that some of those states would not join NATO.
In a written response to the demands, Washington said it is committed to upholding NATO's “open-door policy,” while NATO also conveyed the alliance's reply “in parallel with the United States.”
He said that V4 countries clearly support the membership processes of EU candidate countries.
"The V4+Turkiye format was established during (Hungary’s) term presidency eight years ago. Since then, we have been trying to protect and strengthen it. Turkiye understood that the importance of V4 in Europe and the EU is increasing more day by day,” he added.
Stating that V4 countries attach importance to relations with Turkiye, Matis noted that the purpose of V4 is to take steps together on agreed issues.
He added that the parties respect each other on matters of disagreement, and that cooperating on agreed matters will strengthen V4 countries.
* Writing by Gozde Bayar