New Czech President Petr Pavel ends his two-day visit to Slovakia, March 14, 2023, Bratislava. A summary of the visit for journalists took place in front of the Czech House.
Bratislava – During a two-day trip to Slovakia, President Petr Pavel discussed the solution to the crisis in Ukraine, ways to counter disinformation or deeper cooperation in the defense industry. At the same time, he appreciated the extremely welcoming atmosphere that accompanied his first trip abroad. Pavel told journalists today in front of the Czech House in Bratislava at the end of his visit.
Photo gallery: President Petr Pavel in Slovakia
< img class="aligncenter" src="/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/065ebe04aef8c2f0c272f527141bb5bc.jpg" alt="Pavel in Slovakia discussed Ukraine or the fight against disinformation" />
“We didn't have the ambition to look for specific events, dates, rather to set the framework and atmosphere of cooperation. And I think that worked out very well, because the atmosphere was extremely welcoming the whole time, but also constructive,” said Pavel.
According to his words, Pavel spoke with Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová, Prime Minister Eduard Heger or the head of the Slovak Chamber of Commerce Boris Kollár about a number of problems that the Czech Republic and Slovakia have in common. They talked, for example, about the upcoming early Slovak parliamentary elections, about helping Ukraine and solving the crisis there, or about the possibilities of further Czech-Slovak cooperation in countering disinformation campaigns. The topic was also the deepening of cooperation in the defense industry or the possibility of involvement in the reconstruction of Ukraine.
The Czech president also discussed with Čaputová whether and under what conditions they could participate in joint trips abroad. He mentioned, for example, the meeting of the Council of Europe, the NATO summit or the UN General Assembly. “To not only behave economically, but to show that our countries cooperate really above the standard,” he pointed out. ČTK said on Monday that they could fly to similar events on the same plane.
During his visit to Slovakia, Pavel also met with representatives of the non-profit sector, honored the memory of the founders of Czechoslovakia, Tomáš Garrigu Masaryk and Milan Rastislav Šefánik, and paid tribute to the victims of the murders at the gay bar and the memorial to murdered journalist Ján Kuciak.
Pavel said that he was very happy that he could make the trip so soon after his inauguration on Thursday and thus show that Slovakia is the number one foreign partner for the Czech Republic and will continue to be so.
Pavel's wife Eva had according to the president, more of a cultural program. She met with Čaputová's partner Juraj Rizman, toured Bratislava Castle and debated with Čaputová and her partner about the conditions for the work of the president's partners, what they can do and what they can contribute.
Pavel spoke with the head of the Slovak of the House of Representatives on aid to Ukraine and the elections
Both the Czech Republic and Slovakia should have the opportunity to participate in the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine, which both countries are now helping. The head of the Slovak Chamber of Deputies, Boris Kollár, told journalists after a meeting with President Pavlo. According to Kollár, both politicians talked not only about helping Ukraine in connection with the Russian invasion of that country, but also about early elections in Slovakia.
“When we are now helping Ukraine, we will demand that, in the event of post-war reconstruction, Slovakia and the Czech Republic are also involved in the reconstruction,” said Kollár. According to him, the work on the reconstruction of Ukraine should also help Slovak and Czech companies and the economy.
While on Monday, after the meeting with Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová, Pavel talked about the fact that he perceives the Visegrad Four (V4) more as a consultation forum , according to Kollár, thanks to the V4, the member countries of this grouping, i.e. the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland, have a stronger voice in Europe.
“I don't think that the V4 format is a topic that should be suppressed. Governments change, we can't always be satisfied with the prime minister or president of a particular country,” said Kollár.
V4 after the Russian invasion of Ukraine does not hold a unified opinion on the issue of military aid to Kyiv. Hungary refuses to supply arms to Ukraine through its territory.
Kollár said that he also spoke with Pavlo about completing the mandate of the current government of Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger, which was voted no-confidence in the House of Representatives in December. Subsequently, the Slovak parliament approved the calling of early parliamentary elections at the end of September; the elections will thus be about five months earlier than on the regular date. Among the most popular parties in the country now are the opposition Social Democrats (Smér-SD) of former Prime Minister Robert Fico, who, for example, like Hungary, opposes the supply of Western weapons to Ukraine.
Pavel paid a two-day visit to Slovakia on Monday, when, in addition to meeting with Čaputová, he also discussed with Heger and honored the memory of the founders of Czechoslovakia, Tomáš Garrigu Masaryk and Milan Rastislav Štefánik, as well as the victims of last year's homophobic murder at a gay bar in Bratislava and the shot journalist Ján Kuciak.