09. 07. 2018 16:14
China has expressed an interest in funding various projects, including the possible construction of a broad-gauge railway in Slovakia, said Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini after at the Summit of 16 countries from Central and Eastern Europe with China, which took place last Friday and Saturday in Sofia, Bulgaria. The Slovak PM said that even if China provided loans for constructing a broad-gauge railway in Central Europe, the railway itself should remain in the ownership of Slovakia, and other countries that would have the route on their territories, including Austria, Ukraine and Russia.
According to Pellegrini, another project of interest for Chinese investors could be the possible construction of a high-speed railway that would connect Warsaw, Bratislava and Budapest as outlined at a recent summit of the Visegrad Four group (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia). As the TASR press agency wrote, agreements concerning banking cooperation and several other documents were signed at the summit.In May 2018, the Financial Times commented on the summit, noting that some EU diplomats "fear the group has the potential to undermine single market rules in areas such as public procurement because of China's push for guaranteed contracts for its companies." In his reaction, the Slovak Prime Minister said that the summits "aren't designed to disrupt the unity of the EU, but they should instead be considered as a supplementary format to help these countries in their development."