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Czech President: Czech Republic trying to deliver ammunition 'as quickly as possible'

by Rachel Amran March 19, 2024 6:22 AM 2 min read
Czech President Petr Pavel addresses a press conference at Prague Castle on May 2, 2023, in Prague, Czechia. (Michal Cizek/AFP via Getty Images)
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The Czech Republic is trying to deliver ammunition to Ukraine 'as quickly as possible,' Czech President Petr Pavel said on March 18.

"Producing the required number of shells takes time," Pavel told RFE/RL reporters. "This requires an increase in our production capacity. But Ukraine needs shells now. We cannot wait for European companies, so we are trying to find ammunition wherever we can. Deliver it to Ukraine as quickly as possible. But at the same time, we are increasing our own capacities."

The Czech Republic is leading an initiative to help finance the delivery of ammunition to Kyiv as the Ukrainian military faces critical shortages. Delays in U.S. military assistance, caused by disputes in Congress, have already had a direct impact on the battlefield, contributing to the loss of the key front-line city of Avdiivka.

Pavel also emphasized that Europe will be able to produce the "necessary amount of ammunition" in the near future.

President Pavel said last month that Prague had identified 500,000 155 mm shells and 300,000 122 mm shells outside the European Union that could be bought and sent to Ukraine after the necessary funds were allocated to the initiative.

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the ammunition suppliers taking part in the initiative include "some allies of Russia."

Czech officials told WSJ that Prague had managed to utilize its good relations with many nations in the Global South that have large stockpiles of Soviet-era arms and the ability to produce more.

They did not specify which Russian allies were among the ammunition suppliers involved in the deal.

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