Pavel meets Zelenskyy, pledges new security deal and more arms

At an international summit, the Czech president promised to help supply Ukraine with over 1 million pieces of ammunition and pledged closer cooperation.


Written by ČTK Published on 12.04.2024 10:29:00 (updated on 12.04.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czech President Petr Pavel met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Thursday as part of the Three Seas Initiative to discuss security and promote cooperation in central, eastern, and south-eastern Europe. Pavel confirmed that Czechia is negotiating a bilateral security agreement with Ukraine that should take effect this spring and that Czechia can help supply over 1 million pieces of ammunition to the war-stricken country. 

During the meeting, Zelenskyy expressed his gratitude to the Czech Republic for its continued support in securing military supplies for Ukraine's defense. Pavel confirmed that the Czech Republic will continue to support Ukraine "in every way possible," including planning for post-war reconstruction and helping the country on its path to EU and NATO membership.

Closer military and strategic cooperation

Announcing the upcoming bilateral security deal, Pavel explained that this cooperation would entail "supplies of material, support with intelligence information or technology…and possibly with cooperation in the defense industry, or the transfer of some production to Ukrainian territory."

The UK was the first to sign a similar agreement with Ukraine in January. So far, seven countries have joined, including Germany, Italy, France, and now Latvia, according to Pavel. "Ukraine is interested in being promised NATO membership as soon as possible, which is somewhat premature. That is why countries that are willing to cooperate more closely with Ukraine and provide it with some security guarantees and are concluding bilateral security agreements with it,” Pavel said.

More ammunition for Ukraine

The Czech president also confirmed that it has identified over 1 million pieces of ammunition that it can source from non-EU countries to aid Ukraine – the previous figure was estimated to be 800,000. In recent months, Czechia announced it was leading an initiative to source ammunition with the help of other EU countries – states such as Germany, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Portugal have all joined. The cost is estimated to be around USD 1.5 billion (CZK 35.6 billion)

The Ukrainian president announced at the summit that Ukraine also needs air defense resources due to Russia’s planned strikes against major cities and anticipated offensive in the summer months. Pavel also agreed with Zelenskyy that one of the biggest needs right now is securing resources for running the country’s power grid, such as generators and transformers. “It is the energy infrastructure that Russia is focusing on the most now," the Czech president said.

The Three Seas Initiative summit, which included 13 countries – some of which are beside the Baltic, Adriatic, and Black Seas – highlighted cooperation in energy, transport infrastructure, and digital technologies. According to Pavel, the summit also aimed to bridge the technological gap between western Europe and the central and eastern regions.

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