Czech Republic Pledges More Military Aid for Ukraine

The Czech Republic will send more military aid to Ukraine, its defense minister said on Sunday, while neighboring Slovakia said it was considering sending an air defense system to the Kyiv government.

Czech Defence Minister Jana Cernochova said her country had already sent at least 725 million crowns worth of military gear. “I think that we will at least double that,” she said during a television debate.

She declined to go into further details on the shipments, citing security concerns. The Czech Republic said last month it had already shipped machine guns, assault rifles, ammunition and other unspecified arms to Ukraine.

A Russian air strike on a Ukrainian military facility near the border with Poland on Sunday killed 35 people and wounded 134, a local Ukrainian official said – a development that appeared to move the conflict closer to NATO territory.

The United States and its allies want to avoid NATO being drawn into the conflict, but have supplied Kyiv with military aid since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what Moscow calls a “special operation.”

U.S. Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin is due to visit Slovakia – which, like Poland, is a NATO member which borders Ukraine – after a meeting of the alliance in Brussels on March 16.

Slovakia’s Prime Minister Eduard Heger said on Sunday they would probably discuss the possibility of sending his country’s Soviet-made S-300 air defense system to Ukraine.

“I assume that (sending the S-300 to Ukraine) will be discussed. One needs to realize clearly that the security of territory is paramount, you cannot hand over any equipment if you don’t have your own defense secured,” Heger said in a TV debate.

“This is about supporting and strengthening, also morally, Ukraine .. And at the same time providing aid to an extent that is possible.”


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