WARSAW, March 10 (Xinhua) — The Prime Ministers of Visegrad Group (V4) countries of Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia celebrated here on Sunday the 20th anniversary of their countries’ accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
“In the last 20 years, our countries understood that they are valuable members of NATO and the military alliance demonstrated that it is a guarantee of common security,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said at the event.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, and their Slovak counterpart Peter Pellegrini all joined Morawiecki on Sunday during a show of the 1st Warsaw Armoured Brigade. The event was part of ‘NATO week’, a series of events organised in Poland to mark the 20th anniversary of Poland joining the military alliance.
The Czech Republic and Hungary joined NATO at the same time as Poland, on March 12, 1999. Slovakia joined the alliance five years later.
“We understand NATO membership to mean both that someone is defending us and that we are together responsible for the others,” Babis said in Warsaw.
The Visegrad Group, or V4, is a cultural and political alliance of the four Central European states that are members of the European Union and NATO for the purposes of advancing military, cultural, economic and energy cooperation with one another.
The Presidents of the V4 countries will meet next Tuesday in Prague for a culmination of all celebratory events.