Prague and Berlin prepare for arms swap

DrGermany and the Czech Republic are preparing an agreement on a circular exchange of heavy military equipment, in the framework of which the Czech army will deliver Warsaw Pact-era weapons to Ukraine and will be supplied with Western technology in return. This was announced by Czech Prime Minister Petr Viala and Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz after their first meeting in Berlin. “We can help the Czech army maintain its strength,” Schulz said.

The Czech Republic was one of the first countries to provide ammunition and military equipment to Ukraine before and after the start of the war. Fiala spoke of “a very useful dialogue with Schulz and demanded an increase in the ‘quality’ of political relations between the two countries. He was received in Berlin with military honors. The Czech Prime Minister also had talks with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier there. Six weeks ago, Fiala was, Along with the heads of government of Poland and Slovenia, he is one of the first European heads of state to travel to Kyiv by train after the Russian attack.

Fiala and Schultz also discussed the content of the new EU sanctions package to be imposed against Moscow. In the current round of sanctions, Prague, unlike neighboring Slovakia and Hungary, has not publicly spoken skeptically or even negatively against a planned oil embargo, even though the Czechs’ dependence on Russian oil and gas is not much less than that of the two countries. neighbouring countries. As landlocked countries, the three countries rely on pipeline energy supplies and cannot import oil or liquid gas through their seaports. Even before the Russian attack, Prague had been pressing for the expansion of an oil pipeline that would lead from Italy through Austria to Bavaria and that could supply the Czech Republic with sufficient crude oil in the future.

Now Fiala said he is pleased that he was able to reach an agreement with Schultz “to talk about concrete cooperation” in the supply of oil and gas. This applies not only to the expansion of the TAL oil pipeline, but also to the desire of the Czech government to participate in the planned liquid gas stations on the German North Sea coast. The common intention is to end dependence on Russian energy imports as quickly as possible. Schulz said they are in the process of “establishing a crisis prevention energy supply with the Czech Republic.” A joint working group to make suggestions.

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