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2 Feb, 2023 21:36

EU state’s incoming president urges ‘unlimited’ aid for Ukraine

The West should provide Kiev with whatever it needs to fight Moscow, new Czech leader Petr Pavel has argued
EU state’s incoming president urges ‘unlimited’ aid for Ukraine

There should be “no limits” on Western military aid for Ukraine, according to Czech president-elect Petr Pavel. The former NATO general, who was elected as head of state in late January, made the hawkish remarks in an interview with AFP published on Thursday. 

“When it comes to conventional weapons, I really can see no reason for any limits,” Pavel stated, arguing that Kiev needs more aid to defeat Russia. 

“We should provide Ukraine with all means to help it push the Russian Army out,” he added. 

Ukraine cannot fight a tough opponent like this without armored technologies, unmanned aerial vehicles, artillery and longer-range rockets, but maybe also supersonic aircraft.

Pavel argued that Kiev’s Western backers should show more courage in delivering advanced arms to Ukraine, asserting that “some countries have a bit of a reserved stance” on sending newer weaponry. The president-elect did not specify the nations that he believes to be lacking in resolve.

Pavel also voiced support for Ukraine’s NATO aspirations, stating that its potential membership within the US-led military bloc was only “a matter of political will.” Kiev has already met all the requirements to join the bloc “in terms of agreement on values, long-term strategic interests, [and] technological interoperability” with NATO, the incoming Czech president said. 

“If we perceive NATO and the EU as a zone of stability, cooperation, [and] good relations, then we should allow another large European country to join,” Pavel added, claiming that Kiev’s forces are set to become “the most experienced, best prepared army in Europe.”  

The Czech Republic has been among the most active supporters of Ukraine amid the ongoing conflict with Russia, sending dozens of older Soviet-made tanks, self-propelled artillery, and other military hardware to Kiev. So far, the nation has funneled military aid to Ukraine worth $217 million, the country’s defense ministry told AFP. 

Moscow has repeatedly urged the West to stop “pumping” Ukraine with modern weaponry, warning that continued aid would only prolong the hostilities and inflict more suffering on everyday Ukrainians, rather than change the ultimate outcome of the conflict.