On April 23, 2014, the U.S. Department of State, led by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, hosted the 2014 annual meeting between the U.S. and the Visegrad Four (V4) political directors. The Visegrad Four is a consultative group comprised of the Governments of Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia. The V4 delegation was led by Hungarian Political Director Szabolcs Takacs (current chair), Czech Political Director Vaclav Balek, Polish Political Director Jaroslaw Bratkiewicz, and Slovak Political Director Lubomir Rehak.
This year’s discussions addressed NATO policy and modernization, energy security, and democracy promotion throughout Europe and around the globe. Talks included the new challenges on the Euro-Atlantic landscape as a result of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.
Under Secretary Sherman expressed appreciation for V4 leadership in shaping Europe’s response to the crisis in Ukraine and urged that they continue to call on Russia to de-escalate and take action to implement the April 17 agreement reached in Geneva. She said the U.S. would work with the V4 and other key partners in facilitating the difficult but necessary reform efforts of the interim Ukrainian Government in preparation for early elections in May.