(MENAFN) Czech Defense Minister Jana Cernochova has revealed that the Czech Republic is running out of military equipment to send to Ukraine from its stockpiles, signaling a potential challenge in supporting the Ukrainian military amid ongoing conflict. In a TV interview on Sunday, Cernochova acknowledged the limited availability of military material but expressed the country's commitment to exploring alternative avenues for continued assistance.
The Czech Defense Ministry recently published a report detailing equipment donated to Ukraine, valued at approximately 1.2 billion crowns (USD54.1 million) after depreciation. With depleting stockpiles, Cernochova emphasized the need to avoid jeopardizing the Czech Republic's defense capability while supporting Ukraine. As a solution, Prague intends to engage private companies through contracts for weapons and ammunition deliveries.
Cernochova highlighted the potential of the Czech military industry to supply Ukraine with necessary equipment through contracted arrangements. Notable contributions already made by the Czech Republic to Ukraine include close to 50 infantry fighting vehicles and tanks, 2,500 pistols, 7,000 rifles, 500 light machine guns, and 500 sniper rifles – all financed by Denmark.
In addition to material support, Czech instructors have played a crucial role in training up to 4,000 Ukrainian soldiers as part of the European Union Military Assistance Mission (EUMAM).
Mobile training teams have also been deployed in Poland to enhance Ukrainian military capabilities.
Prague's commitment to supporting Ukraine comes amid regional dynamics, with Slovakia's new government recently obstructing plans by its predecessor to donate EUR40.3 million (USD43 million) worth of weapons and ammunition to Kiev. The evolving situation underscores the complexities and challenges faced by NATO members in assisting Ukraine while balancing domestic defense priorities.
As the Czech Republic explores alternative means of support, the engagement of private companies raises questions about the dynamics of defense contracting and the broader implications for international cooperation in times of conflict. The developments highlight the ongoing efforts of NATO members to navigate diplomatic and logistical challenges in assisting Ukraine in its defense against external threats.
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