Czech authorities have decided to supply Ukraine with more than 4,000 artillery shells as part of the country’s support amid looming fears of a Russian invasion. Taking to Twitter, the Czech Defense Ministry informed that the transfer of 4,006 stored 152 millimeter shells worth a total of $1.7 million at no cost to Ukraine was approved on Wednesday. According to Kyiv Independent, the government of the Czech Republic has decided to meet a request for assistance to help Ukraine strengthen its defenses against a possible Russian invasion.
“We have been developing cooperation with Ukraine and supporting its path to democracy for a long time,” Czech Defense Minister Jana Cernochova was quoted as saying by Kyiv Independent.
“We have a relatively wide range of options at our fingertips, from political and diplomatic support to specific expressions such as the donation of ammunition, which I consider an important gesture of solidarity,” Cernochova added.
Dar 4006 ks dělostřelecké munice ráže 152mm Ukrajině před chvílí na svém jednání schválila @strakovka. Uskuteční se prostřednictvím darovací smlouvy, která byla součástí schváleného návrhu.
— Ministerstvo obrany (@ObranaTweetuje) January 26, 2022
The Czech government has signaled its support for strong Western sanctions against Russia if it invades Ukraine. Today, by adopting the decision to supply Ukraine with more artillery shells, the Czech Republic joins the club of nations that recently decided to send lethal weapons to Ukraine in the midst of a crisis growing security at its border.
Notably, the United States supplied Kiev with nearly 700 FGM-148 Javelin missiles and nearly 200 SMAW-D anti-fortification weapons. Earlier this month, the Baltic countries also promised to send more Javelins as well as FIM-92 Stinger anti-aircraft systems. Additionally, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has confirmed that his country will expand its military training mission in Ukraine to help the former Soviet nation deal with a possible Russian invasion.
Russia and Ukraine agree ‘unconditional truce’
It should be mentioned that tensions between Russia and Ukraine have escalated in recent months after Moscow deployed more than a million troops along the borders of Eastern Europe. The conflict between the nations dates back to 2014 when Russia invaded and annexed the Crimean peninsula. Since then, several clashes have erupted between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed rebels along the eastern borders of the former Soviet republic.
Amid such escalating tensions, Russia and Ukraine agreed in four-party talks in Paris that all sides should observe a “ceasefire” in eastern Ukraine after engaged in talks for more than eight hours. According to Sputnik, Kremlin Deputy Chief of Staff Dmitry Kozak said all sides agreed that “the truce must be observed unconditionally”. Moscow and Kyiv met in Paris in a Normandy-format meeting, including representatives from France and Germany. The four nations took stock of the political issues related to the Minsk agreements on settlement in eastern Ukraine and agreed on a truce in the Donbass.