Czech Republic Wants to Coordinate Support for Ukraine with the V4 States
“Czech Republic is, historically, politically, and alliance-bound to take the side of Ukraine. If Ukraine needs this, we will try to help”, said the head of the Czech MoD, Jana Černochova, stressing the help would be provided based on requirements expressed by Kiyv. The government in Prague noted that weapons and ammunition deliveries shall be coordinated with other Visegrad Group states, Germany, Austria, and the Baltic States.
The statement as follows was given by the Czech Minister of Defence, talking to Hospodarske Noviny daily: "I cannot speak on behalf of the remaining Ministers, however, I do a lot of consulting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Lipavský, and our views of support for Ukraine are aligned". Jana Černochova is also talking to the Chief of General Staff of the Czech Army, General Aleš Opat, concerning the possibilities within the scope of supporting Ukraine. The information has been confirmed by Magdalena Dvořáková, spokesperson for the General Staff of the Czech Army.
In the upcoming days, the commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces General Valeriy Zaluzhny also scheduled a visit to Prague, to meet both General Opat and the head of the Czech MoD. We may be certain that General Zaluzhny would also present the expectations and requirements that Kyiv may have within that scope. Hence, the concrete statements made by Černochova, claiming that a relevant proposal would be presented to the government, once specific requirements are known.
This does not mean that nothing would be done at all, within that scope, until then. Six Czech SOF operators are getting ready to deploy to Ukraine between February and March, and they are to take part in an exercise in Ukraine. Prague is not planning to conduct any other military deployments. Černochova stated, speaking to Hospodarske Noviny that if a request as such emerges, relevant submissions would be made at the parliament and the government. She also said that activities as such shall be subjected to a broader scope of coordination, within structures such as the Visegrad Groups. Neighbours, such as Austria or Germany, as well as the Baltic States, should also be involved. Not only are they involved in supporting Ukraine, but they are interested in stopping the Russian pressure inflicted on Europe.
One should remember that the Czech defence industry has been present in Ukraine for years now - delivering munitions or BMP-1 IFVs. In 2020 Kyiv signed a procurement contract concerning 152 mm Dana-M2 howitzers, ammunition, and maintenance/support, with the Czech Excalibur Army company. The Czech Tatra company supplies Ukraine with carrier platforms for its latest rocket systems, such as Neptun or Vilkha. The words expressed by the head of the Czech MoD are more than just mere political declarations. They shall be viewed as an element of broad cooperation that has been a long-term undertaking.