The Visegrad group will be the “engine” of the European economy (Hungarian envoy)

The Visegrad Group (V4) will be the “motor” of the European economy in the years to come, the Hungarian ambassador to Turkey said on Wednesday.

The V4 is a political alliance of four Central European countries, all 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.

Pointing out that economic development in Western Europe has slowed significantly, Matis said the economy and trade in general are growing much faster in V4.

“We also see in every analysis that this situation will not be different in the years to come. In other words, the engine of the European economy will be the V4 countries,” he added.

Pointing out that the V4 is attracting a lot of foreign investment from the Far East and Europe, he said car production in Europe is happening in the V4 countries at a “very significant pace”.

The Ambassador said that the V4 countries have a large population and influence as a group, even if they are small countries individually.

“When you add the population of these 4 countries, it’s as much as France. If you think economically, the trade of the V4 countries with Germany is double the trade between Germany and France, and triple trade between Germany and Italy”, he said.

“It tells us that we can be more successful stepping together rather than stepping individually,” he added.

– Tension Russia, Ukraine

Regarding the ongoing tension between Ukraine and Russia, Matis said that if a war breaks out, Ukraine, Russia and the V4 countries will be the most affected.

Noting that there should be a diplomatic solution to the issue, he said there would be more problems if force was used.

“It is very easy to say something from a distance, to make important and serious statements, but the request of V4 is to find a diplomatic solution to this,” he said, adding that the voice of the region must be heard.

Moscow, according to Ukrainian and NATO officials, recently rounded up more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine, raising fears that the Kremlin is planning a military offensive against its former Soviet neighbor.

Russia denied that it was preparing to invade and accused Western countries of undermining its security through NATO expansion to its borders.

Russia also issued a list of security demands on the West, including a cancellation 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 requests, Washington said it was committed to maintaining NATO’s “open door policy”, while NATO also conveyed the alliance’s response “in parallel with the United States”.

– Turkey V4 format

He said that the V4 countries clearly support the accession processes of candidate countries to the EU.

“The V4 Turkey format was established during (Hungary’s) tenure eight years ago. Since then, we have tried to protect and strengthen it. Turkey has understood that the importance of V4 in Europe and in the EU was growing day by day”. he added.

Stating that the V4 countries attach importance to relations with Turkey, Matis noted that the aim of the V4 is to take action together on the agreed issues.

He added that the parties respect each other on issues of disagreement and cooperation on agreed issues will strengthen the V4 countries.

* Written by Gozde Bayar

Laura T. Thrasher