Credit: JMK

Czech Republic Has Identified Over One Million Pieces of Ammunition For Ukraine

The Czech Republic has already identified more than one million pieces of artillery ammunition in non-EU countries that could be purchased for Ukraine, President Petr Pavel told Czech journalists in Vilnius after a summit of the Three Seas Initiative yesterday.

Previously, Czech officials had located about 800,000 pieces of ammunition.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala submitted the proposal to purchase ammunition in non-EU countries for Ukraine at the EU summit in early February. Later, at the Munich Security Conference, Pavel discussed the possibility of buying 800,000 grenades for the Ukrainians in third countries, including 500,000 of 155-millimetre calibre and 300,000 of 122-millimetre calibre.

Pavel also met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Lithuania. Zelenskiy stressed that his country, under attack from Russia, needs 155-millimetre calibre ammunition above all.

Moreover, the Czech initiative is not the only one, Pavel added, as Estonia and Britain are pushing similar plans, and France has also talked about it.

Ukraine expects Russia to launch an offensive in the summer months, according to Pavel. “To be able to sustain themselves or stop the attack, they need, first of all, enough artillery ammunition. The goal is to get it to Ukraine in the greatest number in the shortest possible time,” Pavel stated.

The Czech government and the press have reported that about 20 countries have so far joined the scheme, including Canada, Germany, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Belgium, Finland, Portugal, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Iceland and Slovenia. The British Financial Times newspaper wrote at the end of February that the purchase of 800,000 rounds of ammunition would cost $1.5 billion.

Furthermore, Ukraine needs, above all, air defence capacity, both short range to protect the troops deployed in the field and systems capable of protecting major cities, especially Kharkiv and Kyiv. According to Pavel, Russia is launching massive strikes against major cities to damage their infrastructure and break the will of Ukrainians to defend themselves.

During the bilateral meeting, Pavel also informed Zelenskiy of the need to secure resources for running the power grid, such as generators, transformers and cogeneration units (equipment for combined heat and power generation).

“Because it is the energy infrastructure that Russia is focusing on the most now,” the Czech president said.

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