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Presidents of Višegrad countries plus Austria and Slovenia advocate flexibility in seeking future energy supply security

Prague, Czech Republic, 12. 12. 2014 | press release

Today, Slovenian President Borut Pahor is concluding his participation in the two-day summit of presidents of Višegrad countries, Austria and Slovenia. The six presidents, Miloš Zeman of the Czech Republic, Andrej Kiska of Slovakia, János Áder of Hungary, Bronisław Komorowski of Poland, Heinz Fischer of Austria and Borut Pahor of Slovenia discussed central Europe's energy security, stressing the need for diversifying energy supply channels and sources. They agreed to cooperate on energy projects aiming to optimise energy supply and reduce dependency on a single energy source. They also discussed strategic alternatives for the supply of energy in the wake of Russia's announcement to abandon the South Stream gas pipeline.
Today, Slovenian President Borut Pahor is concluding his participation to the two-day summit of presidents of Višegrad countries, Austria and Slovenia.
Photo: Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

President Pahor pointed out that currently energy supply in Slovenia is no issue, as the "proposed diversification of energy sources is such that we need not worry. However, the new circumstances resulting from the decision to abandon the South Stream are a warning that we must be sensitive to the changes occurring in our neighbourhood and that we must remain flexible and adapt to the new situation." Pahor also welcomed the proposal by Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, to create an EU energy union, adding that, "should the Višegrad countries decide to pursue this discussion at the level of prime ministers or sectoral ministers, Slovenia wishes to continue to be part of it. It is also necessary to seriously consider the possibility of building a gas terminal in the Northern Adriatic. In any case, Slovenia will continue to diversify its energy sources, and will not close its nuclear plant Krško, which is absolutely safe, and also irreplaceable, as it covers one third of Slovenia's electric energy needs".

The presidents also discussed the situation in Ukraine and certain other key foreign policy challenges for Central Europe.

Yesterday afternoon, President Pahor met with Poland's President Bronisław Komorowski, the two presidents discussed and agreed on a presidential visit to Poland. President Pahor reiterated Slovenia's interest in improving and expanding upon the already excellent cooperation among the two countries, in particular in the areas of transport, logistics, energy, internal affairs, defence, culture and science. The two presidents underlined the fact that the two countries were part of central Europe and are facing the same challenges in terms of the region’s future development challenges. They expressed their support for the realization of the Baltic-Adriatic corridor, intended to connect the Baltic port of Świnoujście with the Port of Koper. The two presidents also extensively discussed the situation in Ukraine and the danger that the political instability might migrate to the Western Balkans.

In the morning President Pahor met his Hungarian counterpart János Áder. The talks focused on options for future development of economic cooperation between the two countries, such as construction of transport and energy supply connections and cross-border cooperation. They also discussed possible alternatives following the Russia's decision to abandon the construction of South Stream pipeline, which was planned to run through Hungary and Slovenia. Pahor’s forthcoming visit to Hungary will be a perfect occasion for spurring cooperation in the agreed upon areas.

Bilateral meeting between the President of the Republic of Slovenia and the President of Hungary János Áder.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Today in the afternoon, Slovenia's President Borut Pahor and Czech President Miloš Zeman will inaugurate a rootstock of the old vine from Maribor - considered to be the oldest vine in the world - at Prague Castle. The event was organised by the Slovenian Embassy in Prague, the presidents will be accompanied by Maribor Mayor Andrej Fištravec and the Maribor vine's caretaker Stanislav Kocutar. A short cultural programme will be animated by the choir Fantje na vasi from Rače near Maribor with Slovenian and Czech songs on wine. The event will continue with a presentation of Slovenian wine from the Podravje wine-producing region at the Prague Castle. A meeting of sommeliers from the two countries was held on the sidelines of the event.

The rootstock of the oldest world vine will be planted in the Hradčani Castle's gardens designed by Slovenia's top architect Jožef Plečnik next to a bust of the architect, who left an indelible mark on Prague Castle.