Heads of the Governments of Austria, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic demanded an end to political repression in Belarus. Ukrainian Prime Minister refused to accede to the request.
Meeting of Prime Ministers of the Visegrad Four (Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic) was held on February 15 in the Slovak capital Bratislava and was dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the association. The meeting was also attended by prime ministers of neighboring countries — Austria, Germany and Ukraine.
In a joint statement, which contains the site of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia, the heads of governments of six countries — Austria — Werner Faymann, Hungary — Viktor Orban, Germany — Angela Merkel, Poland — Donald Tusk, Slovakia — Yvette Radichava, Czech Republic — Petar Nechas, expressed their concern after the events of "fraudulent presidential elections" in Belarus and urged the authorities to immediately release all political prisoners, removing them from all charges. Managers are also advised to renew the mandate of the Minsk office of the OSCE, and reminded that the electoral process must meet OSCE standards.
The authors of the statement also expressed support for the introduction of a visa bans and reaffirmed their strong commitment to strengthening contacts with Belarusian civil society. The Heads of Government also promised to closely monitor the situation in Belarus and continue to guide the policy of "critical engagement", including through dialogue and the Eastern Partnership, subject to the principles of democracy, rule of law and human rights.
Agency UNIAN correspondent asked why the statement was not signed Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, who took part in the Bratislava meeting. According to the most Azarov, the reason was procedural issues and in particular the fact that the text of the statement, Ukraine received only this morning. "These documents are not practiced in 5 minutes," — said Azarov. He added that Ukraine, given the good relations with Belarus, can affect the human rights situation in the country by other methods.
Visegrad group got its name from the Hungarian town of Vyshagrad, where in 1991 year was signed a joint declaration of the member's desire to European structures. With original trio became a quartet group after splitting the Czech Republic and Slovakia.