V4 countries back Ukraine`s ambition to join NATO
The Visegrad Four foreign ministers agreed at a meeting
The Visegrad Four (V4) countries, i.e. the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary, support the ambition of Ukraine and Georgia to become members of NATO, V4 foreign ministers agreed at a meeting in Prague today, also attended by their counterparts from Ukraine and Sweden, according to CTK.
Sweden will preside over the EU in the second half of 2009, after the Czech Republic.
The V4 countries believe that the integration of Ukraine in NATO`s Membership Action Plan (MAP) will enhance political and security cooperation between Kiev and NATO, the ministers said.
Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg also said he was for the EU to lower the fees Belarussian citizens have to pay to EU states for visas.
Kiev hoped that the recent NATO summit would invite it to join the MAP, but this did not happen as mainly Germany and France voiced opposition to this.
Many believe Berlin and Paris did so out of apprehensions that this might unnecessary irritate Russia.
Nevertheless, NATO officials made it clear at the summit in Bucharest that Ukraine and also Georgia may reckon with NATO entry in the future.
The V4 was established as V3 by the then Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland in Visegrad, Hungary, in 1991 with the aim to enhance cooperation between the central European post-communist states. After the split of Czechoslovakia into two successor states it was renamed to V4.
Its activities include meetings of presidents, prime ministers, ministers, chiefs-of-staff and supreme courts` heads.