May 23. 2024. 7:47

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Zelenskyy thanks Pavel for Czech shells-for-Ukraine initiative


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Czech President Petr Pavel for Prague’s initiative to purchase artillery shells for Ukraine from outside the EU, which has helped the war-torn country with its ammunition shortage, as the two leaders met in Vilnius on Thursday during the Three Seas Summit.

At an extraordinary EU summit in early February, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala put forward the idea of buying artillery ammunition for Ukraine from non-EU countries. Later, at the Munich Security Conference, Pavel announced the possibility of buying 800,000 shells for Ukraine from third countries.

As reported in the media, Czechia has been interested in ammunition from arms companies in South Korea, Turkey and South Africa, for example.

The next task was to find money for this ammunition, as about $1.5 billion was reportedly needed.

About twenty countries have joined the initiative so far, the latest of which was Lithuania, where the summit is taking place.

As for Czechia, it has so far allocated hundreds of millions of Czech crowns (tens of millions of euros) for the purchase of ammunition, Fiala told CNN Prima News last week, as media reported in early March that ammunition would arrive in Ukraine within weeks.

At Thursday’s meeting, the two heads of state also addressed Ukraine’s pressing needs.

“We discussed defence support for Ukraine, ways to advance defence industry cooperation, Ukraine’s EU and NATO accession, and the signing of a bilateral security agreement,“ Zelenskyy wrote on X. “I thank Czechia for its steadfast support for Ukraine,“ he added.

The Three Seas is an initiative bringing together 13 countries in Central and Eastern Europe along a north-south axis from the Baltic to the Adriatic and Black Seas, with a view to creating a regional dialogue on matters affecting member states.

(Ondřej Plevák | Euractiv.cz)

Read more with Euractiv

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