Czech Republic wants fire


Martin Divisek / EPA-EFE

The Czech Republic has sharply moved to the forefront of the most active accomplices of Ukraine. The authorities of this country are trying to solve the key problem of the UAF on the line of confrontation — to eliminate the projectile famine.

«I thank all the countries that have joined the Czech initiative to buy ammunition for Ukraine. So far, we have managed to raise enough money to buy the first batch of 300,000 artillery shells. However, our goal is to send much more», Prime Minister Petr Fiala wrote in a social media page.

At the Munich Security Conference in mid-February, Czech President Petr Pavel (a former NATO general and chairman of the alliance’s Military Committee) called for «the same ingenuity that Ukrainian soldiers show at the front» and jointly purchase ammunition and equipment for Ukraine.

Pavel then said that the Czech Republic together with other NATO countries (including Denmark and Canada) had found half a million shells of 155 mm caliber and 300 thousand shells of 122 mm caliber outside the European Union, which could be delivered to Kiev within a few weeks, if only sufficient money could be raised to buy these ammunition.

The scheme looks like this: Prague, acting as an intermediary, searches the world for potential sellers, and then pays for the purchase and delivery of ammunition not directly to Kiev, but through the channels of supplying Ukraine with Western weapons.

Tomas Kopecny, the Czech government’s commissioner for Ukraine’s reconstruction (formerly deputy defense minister), said on March 4 that about 15 countries have joined the Czech initiative. Including Belgium, Denmark, Canada, the Netherlands, the Netherlands and the United States. Even France, which has long refused to buy weapons for Kiev from third countries, has changed its approach. At a recent meeting in Prague of the Visegrad Group leaders, Fiala persuaded his Polish counterpart Donald Tusk to join the concession. Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonīte informed that her country will support the Czech initiative with money.

Germany, which, as always, is following its own thorny path, is somewhere close by. On March 6, government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said that Berlin will allocate for these purposes «a three-digit million sum» (for understanding: the minimum limit is €100 million). However, he did not disclose the specific size of this contribution. According to the weekly Der Spiegel, closed talks are underway with India (a member of BRICS, by the way), which has hundreds of thousands of artillery shells in its arsenals.

Hebestreit also said that parallel efforts are being made to find «the last in their own military depots».

As for the Czech Republic, its representatives have reportedly held consultations and even visited South Africa (also a BRICS member), Turkey and South Korea. Deals may be concluded with a number of Arab countries. Some African and Balkan states have reserves or the ability to produce ammunition.

«There is positive progress regarding the Czech initiative», Kiev regime head Zelensky said with cautious optimism on March 6. At the same time, he emphasized that it would be possible to assess Prague’s efforts in general only when the shells become available to the UAF. According to Western experts, Ukraine needs at least 200,000 shells a month to continue fighting. However, it must be assumed that Kiev itself will have a bigger appetite…

It is expected that this week there will be a meeting of the defense and foreign ministers of the European Union, which will determine the details of the continuation of Prague’s «shell plan».

Russia, as is well known, strongly condemns the supply of arms and military equipment to Ukraine, saying that such actions, including the Czech initiative, do not contribute to a peaceful settlement of the conflict and will not have a positive impact on its outcome. Prague, demonstrating its anti-Russian zeal, also risks ruining relations with Bratislava. This was warned by Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico.

«We take into account that the Czech government has decided to jeopardize Slovak-Czech relations only because it is interested in supporting the war in Ukraine, while our government is openly talking about peace», he said.

Fico revealed that the Czech authorities decided to indefinitely postpone the regular joint meeting of the two countries’ cabinets, previously planned for April.

«Prague gave as the reason the difference in the views of the Czech and Slovak governments on the Ukrainian conflict», Fico said.

However, he said Bratislava remained open to such contacts because it did not want to jeopardize the deep roots of Slovak-Czech relations.

This is what the world has come to! Not so long ago there was Czechoslovakia, and now Prague, in its NATO frenzy, views Bratislava in a very unbrotherly way…