Czech Republic Wants to Take Lead on Ukraine Reconstruction

Czechia would like to be a leader in the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine, and the key task is to secure European finances for this purpose, Industry and Trade Minister Jozef Sikela said on Monday.

According to Czech News Agency, Sikela, while talking to a meeting of Czech ambassadors in Prague, said the Ukrainian side presented a document defining their needs related to the renewal of critical infrastructure in the wake of the Russian invasion.

Sikela added that his Ministry has established “Business Club Ukraine” as a platform to connect the information about Ukraine’s demand with Czech companies’ offers.

“We are also cooperating with the Foreign Ministry on a joint document concerning the reconstruction,” he said.

Other countries have started to help as well. In early August, the reconstruction of Ukrainian schools and kindergartens began during a visit by Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu to Kyiv.

The Albanian capital of Tirana will also assist in rebuilding schools and providing expertise gained following the 2019 earthquake which destroyed hundreds of educational institutions.

Moreover, last week President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed an agreement deal that will provide for the participation of the Turkish side in the reconstruction process of Ukraine.

As for Czechia’s energy security, according to Sikela, the country did nothing in the past to reduce its dependence on Russia. Diversification of sources was neglected, as was the construction of infrastructure.

The cabinet is now taking steps to remedy the situation. At the EU level, a political agreement on a voluntary 15% reduction of the demand for natural gas has been achieved.

“This will help us prepare for the upcoming winter and possible disruptions of gas supplies from Russia,” Sikela said.

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