EU leaders will meet in Prague to discuss Ukraine aid this week

Following the latest attack by Russia on Kharkiv, Czech PM Petr Fiala has invited multiple EU leaders to meet in Prague on May 28. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 26.05.2024 13:08:00 (updated on 26.05.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

The leaders of several European Union countries will convene in Prague on May 28 at the invitation of Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala to discuss enhanced support for Ukraine amid ongoing Russian aggression. The discussion will focus on ammunition aid, air defense, and defense industry cooperation following Russia's latest attack on Kharkiv.

The meeting will take place at Kramář's Villa, the official residence of the Czech PM in Prague. Attending will be Polish President Andrzej Duda, Danish PM Mette Frederiksen, Dutch PM Mark Rutte, and Latvian PM Evika Siliňová.

"The main topics of the meeting will be the Czech munitions initiative, the air defense of Ukraine, and defense-industrial cooperation in Europe," the Czech Government Office announced in a press release.

Prime Minister Fiala added on social network X that Russia's ambitions extend beyond Ukraine and stressed the need for Europe to be "armed, determined, and united" to prevent further conflict.

Fiala's proposal to purchase ammunition for Ukraine outside EU member states has gained traction since being presented at an extraordinary EU summit in February. Twenty countries have joined the initiative, contributing or intending to contribute to the effort.

The Czech Republic acts as an intermediary, connecting countries with suppliers based on the Ukrainian army's needs. The first deliveries from this initiative are expected to reach Ukraine by early summer.

NATO meeting in Prague

Following the EU leaders' meeting, Prague will host an informal gathering of NATO foreign ministers on May 30-31, with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in attendance. Blinken, who will visit Prague as part of a European tour, aims to discuss support for Ukraine and strengthen energy cooperation with Czech officials.

The meeting will prepare for the NATO summit in Washington this July, where further support for Ukraine is anticipated, though an invitation for the country to join NATO is not expected.

Recent attack on Kharkiv

The urgency of the meetings in Prague is underscored by the recent Russian air strike on Kharkiv. On Saturday, guided missiles struck a hypermarket on the outskirts of the city, resulting in 12 deaths and 43 injuries. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy condemned the attack, which he described as "clear terrorism."

The hypermarket, which had around 120 people inside at the time, suffered severe damage, and 16 people remain missing as of Sunday morning. Kharkiv has been a focal point of Russian air attacks since the invasion began.

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