Czechia to supply Ukraine with 4,000 artillery shells but foreign minister continues to call for diplomatic solution

Supporters of Ukraine carry a large Ukrainian flag on the medieval Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic, Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
By Lucie Ctverakova
3 Min Read

The Czech Republic will provide Ukraine with 4,000 artillery shells for about 37 million korunas (€1.5 million) after the government unanimously decided on the supply, Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský confirmed.

Minister of Defense Jana Černochová considers the donation a fundamental gesture of solidarity with Czechia wanting Ukraine to strength its defenses with the aid.

Prime Minister Petr Fiala said that Czechia remains supportive Ukraine and will continue to discourage military aggression through diplomatic channels. At the same time, it is prepared for worst-case scenarios. The state security council will discuss the situation next week, he added.

“We have been developing cooperation with Ukraine for a long time and supporting its path to democracy. We have a relatively wide range of options, from political and diplomatic support to concrete steps, such as the gift of ammunition, which I consider an important gesture of solidarity,” said Černochová.

The donated ammunition is used by the Czech army in DANA self-propelled howitzers. Jakub Fajnor from the press department of the Ministry of Defense stated that Czech soldiers have sufficient supplies of this ammunition and reminded that the artillery shells could not be used in the newly-acquired cannons that Czechia buys from France. These will require the 155-millimeter caliber used by NATO allies.

Former Minister of Defense Lubomír Metnar reacted to the donation on Twitter. Referring to the position of Germany and Croatia, he asked whether there was a consensus on a common EU approach towards Russia and whether this approach was coordinated.

“I am of the opinion that assistance to Ukraine needs to be closely coordinated with the EU and NATO states. I support diplomatic negotiations and the use of all diplomatic means,” he wrote.

“Solitary actions of individual states could contribute to the unsolicited escalation of the current crisis. All support must contribute to the de-escalation and stabilization of the current situation, and possible sanctions must not have a negative impact on companies and citizens of the Czech Republic,” he added.

The United States, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Canada, and the Baltic countries, for example, have also recently promised or already sent military aid.

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