The fourth event of the project was held in Bratislava on June 13, 2022. Almost 40 participants of the lecture and workshops were hosted by the University of Economics and the Faculty of International Relations. The host of the meeting was Dr. Martin Gress from the Department of International Economic Relations and Diplomacy. This time the meeting was devoted to international relations of the Visegrad Group countries, with particular emphasis on the conflict in Ukraine and its consequences for the region.
The event was officially opened by prof. Boris Mattoš, Vice-Rector for International Cooperation, who emphasized the importance of current events and the need to discuss them. The first expert lecture was given by the political scientist prof. Peter Csanyi, a recognized expert in international political relations and an expert in V4 issues. His speech dealt with the issue of the dynamically changing position of the V4 countries within the structures of the European Union.
Then, Mr. Nakagawa Makoto, the Japanese ambassador to Slovakia, took the floor and raised the issue of energy relations between Russia and the V4 countries. The ambassador pointed out that independence from Russian energy sources is possible, but may require a lot of sacrifice on the part of the citizens of these countries.
After the break, the students presented positions summarizing the attitudes of the inhabitants of their country towards the events in Ukraine, civic aid for refugees and political relations with Russia. During the discussion, the similarities and differences between the V4 countries were emphasized with regard to sanctions against Russia, as well as the necessary assistance for people coming to and staying in the countries of the region.
Next, the students took part in workshops simulating international talks around the conflict in Ukraine. Attempts were made to understand the positions of such countries as Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Turkey, as well as the European Union as a whole and the Visegrad Group. Against this background, attempts were made to work out a possible consensus on the further development of the situation in the eastern part of Europe.
Conclusions from the workshop discussions will be included in the policy paper being prepared by students participating in the event.
As part of the preparations for the workshop, student groups prepared short clips introducing to the subject of the event. You can watch them by clicking on the links below: