Back Online meeting of the Chairmen of the Parliamentary Committees on Foreign Affairs of the Visegrád Group and Baltic States, 22 November 2021
On the initiative of Poland and organised by the Hungarian V4 Presidency, the Chairmen of the Committees on Foreign Affairs of the National Parliaments of the Visegrád and Baltic (V4 and B3) countries held an online discussion on the "Situation at the external borders of the EU with Belarus" on 22 November 2021. The V4 countries were represented by Zsolt Németh (Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Hungarian National Assembly, Host) from Hungary; Pavel Fischer (Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security of the Senate) and Jaroslav Bžoch (Acting Vice-Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Deputies) from the Czech Republic; Bogdan Klich (Chair of the Foreign and European Union Affairs Committee of the Senate) and Marek Kuchciński (Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Sejm) from Poland; and Peter Osuský (Vice-Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council) from the Slovak Republic. The Baltic States were represented by Marko Mihkelson (Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Riigikogu) from the Republic of Estonia; Rihards Kols (Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Saeima) from the Republic of Latvia; and Žygimantas Pavilionis (Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Seimas) from Lithuania. During the online event, participants discussed two topics: 1) the security situation on the EU-Belarus border that has evolved in recent weeks, including, in particular, illegal migration, security concerns, hybrid attacks and the use of migrants as means in that by the Belarusian regime; and 2) the security situation in Ukraine. All agreed that hybrid warfare was taking place on the border of Belarus with Poland and the Baltic States. They also mentioned the destabilising activities of the Belarusian regime. In terms of Ukraine, they expressed their concerns about the events taking place on the Russian-Ukrainian border, which they feared could deteriorate into armed conflict. They called for assistance and support to Ukraine by the EU as soon as possible. Zsolt Németh stressed the need for long-term solutions to address the situation in the Belarus-Poland-Baltic region, including migration, and highlighted that it was essential to initiate fundamental changes in legislation and ensure protection against illegal migration at EU level. He concluded by declaring that "as the current holders of the V4 Presidency, we remain ready for open, direct and honest discussions and exchanges on threats to our security". At the end of the online meeting, the representatives of the V4 countries adopted a statement on the situation at the external borders of the EU with Belarus.