War in Ukraine live: on the eve of an EU-Ukraine summit in kyiv, Brussels announces new military aid of 500 million euros
Petr Pavel, the next president of the Czech Republic calls for support for Ukraine
The President-elect of the Czech Republic gives his full support to Ukraine. Mr Pavel, the former Czech army chief of staff who headed NATO’s military committee from 2015 to 2018, won a presidential election on Saturday and will be sworn in on March 9. In an interview with Agence France-Presse (AFP), Mr. Pavel, 61, said the West should supply Ukraine with all types of weapons except nuclear.
“When it comes to conventional weapons, I really see no reason to set limits. Ukraine cannot fight such a tough adversary without armour, drones, artillery and longer-range missiles, and perhaps even supersonic aircraft. »
Western allies, including the Czech Republic, have provided Ukraine with substantial military aid since the start of the invasion on February 24, 2022. According to Mr Pavel, more courage is needed because “some countries have a somewhat reserved position” on modern arms deliveries. “If we want to take a unique position, which gives us the best chance of success, we should act in unity on these issues”he says, referring to Poland’s offer to send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, if this initiative is supported by all of NATO.
Mr Pavel also supports Ukraine’s candidacy for EU and NATO membership once the war is over. “If we perceive NATO and the EU as an area of stability, cooperation, good relations, then we should allow another major European country to join us”said Mr. Pavel. “And it’s not just that she deserves to join, but we will also benefit, as will Russia when she is able to restore normal relations with the West again.” » According to him, Ukraine’s membership in NATO is only“a matter of political will” once the war is over. “In terms of agreement on values, long-term strategic interests, technological interoperability between NATO and the Ukrainian military, I think Ukraine has already met the conditions. »
Besides, “when it comes to the dragging conflict and the last phase of this really hot war, Ukraine and its army will be the most experienced, best prepared army in Europe”, added Mr. Pavel. According to him, the war must end with the withdrawal of Russia, peace talks, the reconstruction of Ukraine and the investigation of war crimes. “We will have to bring Russia to this, not only by continuing to support Ukraine, but also by being very strict in the implementation of sanctions against Russia”he explained. “It is the only way to make Russia understand that it has acted against the norm, and that in the civilized world of the 21e century, even a large country like Russia cannot ignore the standards of the world community. »
The Czech Republic, an EU and NATO member of 10.5 million people, has so far provided Ukraine with military aid worth $217 million, it said on Thursday. , the Ministry of Defense told AFP.
Read also: Czech Republic: Petr Pavel, a pro-European elected to the presidency
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