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Poland doubles its contribution to Czech ammunition initiative for Kyiv

by Martin Fornusek March 27, 2024 5:04 PM 2 min read
Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski (L) and Latvian Foreign MInister Krisjanis Karins in Riga, Latvia, on March 27, 2024. (Polish Foreign Ministry/X)
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Poland has decided to double its commitment to the Czech-led initiative to purchase artillery shells for Ukraine, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said in Riga on March 27, without providing a specific figure.

Czech President Petr Pavel said in February that Prague had identified 500,000 155 mm shells and 300,000 122 mm shells outside of Europe that could be bought and sent to Ukraine after the necessary funds were allocated to the initiative.

Czechia's foreign minister, Jan Lipavsky, said on March 25 that the initiative may collect as many as 1.5 million rounds.

Speaking at a press conference in Latvia's capital alongside his Latvian counterpart, Krisjanis Karins, Sikorski praised relations between Riga and Warsaw as "exemplary," noting the two countries are both leaders in helping Ukraine to resist Russian aggression.

Commenting on Moscow's recent uptick in missile and drone attacks against Ukraine, Sikorski said: "It seems to me that some media in the West are not shocked enough by this unprecedented wave of air terrorism against Ukraine."

Poland's top diplomat stressed that the U.S. assistance bill for Ukraine, currently stuck in Congress, is "urgently, even desperately needed."

"If everyone did what Poland and Latvia are doing, Ukraine would be in a much better situation," Sikorski said.

Poland has been one of Ukraine's staunchest supporters since the outbreak of the full-scale war, donating some $3.2 billion in military aid and hosting around 1 million Ukrainian refugees.

In the past few months, Polish-Ukrainian relations have been strained somewhat by the ongoing disputes over agricultural trade and intermittent blockades by Polish farmers at Ukraine's border.

Bloomberg: Prague’s ammunition initiative may supply 1.5 million shells to Ukraine, Czech FM says
“We can do much more than the initially announced number,” Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky told Bloomberg, saying that the number may be as high as 1.5 million.
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