After Czech election, it's time to intensify cooperation

After Czech election, it's time to intensify cooperation

The outcome of the Czech presidential election will contribute towards closer overlap between Czech and Slovak security and foreign policies, interim chief of Slovak diplomacy Rastislav Kacer declared after meeting his Czech counterpart in Pezinok on Tuesday.

"The risks and challenges we face, particularly because of the war in Ukraine and its impacts, whether security or financial, are keeping us rather busy. We share them together and in this format, the discussion will become more fruitful and intense," thinks Kacer.

Czech Foreign Affairs Minister Jan Lipavsky underlined the mutual consensus, according to which it's necessary not only to cooperate in tackling current and urgent challenges but also to firm up options of bilateral cooperation. "I hope that Czech-Slovak ties will receive new stimulus and energy," said Lipavsky.

As for developments in Ukraine, Kacer and Lipavsky made statements on the current European integration effort by Kiev. Both ministers accentuated that it's too early to put forth any timetables of integration and what they find important instead is to articulate a clear and trustworthy European vision for Ukraine that would be appealing and motivational enough for the candidate to meet the requirements for accession. Kacer and Lipavsky concurred on the necessity to continue helping Ukraine in its fight against the Russian aggression and the violation of international law. They also rejected the effort to cast aspersions over the EU project and the West's approach to Russia on the part of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

In addition, Kacer and Lipavsky commented on the ongoing enlargement of NATO by Sweden and Finland and the current rejectionist stance of Turkey on Sweden's bid. "Maybe Finland will join NATO sooner, but I'm an optimist, I believe that both countries will expand the ranks of the Alliance members," said Lipavsky.

His optimism is shared also by Kacer, who called for "strategic patience" that takes into account Turkey's importance as a NATO ally. "In security policy, it's necessary to seek what unites us, our joint security interest, and I'm confident that rationality will prevail at the end of the day," he claimed. (TASR)

Ben Pascoe, Photo: TASR

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