Where are the “Pavel grenades” for Ukraine coming from?

As of: March 3, 2024 9:55 am

Czech President Pavel recently announced that Czech diplomats had “found” artillery ammunition for Ukraine from third countries. Germany also wants to participate. But where do the ammunition come from?

Possible support for Ukraine – Czech Republic President Peter Pavel has not doubted his clear position since taking office last year. On the second anniversary of the Russian invasion, he spoke to thousands of Czechs in Old Town Square in the heart of Prague about why victory in Ukraine is so important to the Czech Republic.

According to the Czech leader, Russia is not only waging war against Ukraine. Russian aggression is directed against the entire Western world and the European system of values. The President follows his clear words with actions. The Czech Republic currently leads the European procurement of ammunition for Ukraine.

Historically strong Defense industry

In particular, the huge shortage of artillery shells and anti-aircraft missiles is currently the biggest weak point of the Ukrainian military. The EU originally promised Ukraine a million artillery shells within a year. But due to production problems, less than a third were distributed.

This is where the Czech Republic works. The country has historically had a strong arms industry, and private companies trade heavily in processed goods from Warsaw Pact stocks. In the past they often played a suspect role – but now their connections have proven themselves.

Hundreds of thousands A shot of ammunition

While the official global munitions market is empty, Czech government officials have been able to negotiate discreetly. President Pavel presented the result at the Munich Security Conference in mid-February: about half a million rounds of 155-millimeter caliber and 300,000 rounds of 122-millimeter caliber were “identified,” i.e., found abroad.

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The Czech weekly magazine “Respect” spoke to people researching explosives around the world on behalf of the president and the government. Your activities are subject to confidentiality. Among those responsible is Tomas Kopecny, the government's special representative for Ukraine.

He did not disclose which countries the weapons came from. That's all – these are countries that either stayed neutral in the war or did not want to openly oppose Russia by supplying ammunition. The weekly quoted him as saying that it cannot be more precise as it affects the entire process. The Russians in particular are actively looking for new sources of supply.

New impetus for aid to Ukraine

The Czech Republic primarily wants to act as a mediator in the campaign. Other countries should take over the funding; It is 1.5 billion euros. In fact, according to the “honor” statement, the entire transaction must have taken place behind closed doors.

But at the Munich Security Conference, when President Pavel realized how the hopeless situation on the front affected the mood at the political level, he decided to issue a public statement – in the hope that it would give a new impetus to aid to Ukraine and at the same time shorten the long bilateral negotiations on financing the deliveries.

Germany also participates

Indeed, shortly after Pavel's appearance, several countries, including Denmark, Canada and the Netherlands, signaled their willingness to provide funding. Union Ministry of Defense said ARDGermany also wants to participate in the financing and cover a “significant part” of the costs. Discussions on this are very advanced.

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The Netherlands and Denmark already had positive experiences with the Czech Republic as an effective mediator at the start of the Russian offensive: Prague arranged to hand over 100 old Soviet-designed tanks to Kiev; It is one of the heavy to large distributions. Technology.

Pavel's voice is heard in the West

President Pavel's personal commitment also plays an important role today. The voice of the retired NATO general and former head of the NATO Security Council is being heard in the West.

It is now up to the president and diplomacy to secure the funding – with much of the sum reportedly still outstanding. If successful, the weapons could be delivered to Ukraine within two months, the government said. This won't be the Czech Republic's last move.

Official ammunition inventors of the Czech Republic continue to find urgently needed items – this time with large rockets, especially with anti-aircraft defenses and threats, “Respect” newspaper reported on Thursday, citing President Pavel.

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