Russia Warns Czech Republic Not To Provide Soviet Weapons Without Its Consent
Russia has warned the Czech government in a diplomatic note that it must not provide weapons of Soviet origin to third countries without its consent. Czech ministers challenged the basis for the Russian argument as factually incorrect, and dismissed the warning as an attempt to deter the arming of Ukraine. Photo credit: FB Jan Lipavský – Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic
Czech Republic, April 21 (BD) – The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MZV) has received a note saying that the Czech Republic is allegedly not allowed to provide weapons of Soviet origin to third countries without Russia’s permission, according to a report from Ceske Noviny yesterday.
“The MZV has not and will not respond to this note, given that it is factual nonsense and that there is no re-export clause for this material. This is another way for Russia to use lies to stop our support to Ukraine,” Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky (Pirati) told Ceske Noviny.
“Russia is generally trying to discourage Western countries from helping Ukraine by threats, blackmail and spreading disinformation. In this case, Moscow claims that the Czech Republic cannot export former Soviet equipment without Russia’s consent. This is nonsense, just another brazen and embarrassing attempt,” said Defence Minister Jana Cernochova.
In a diplomatic note this week, Russia formally warned the US and other Western states that their arms supplies to Ukraine were fueling the conflict there and could bring “unforeseen consequences”. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday 15 April that Moscow had sent similar messages about arms supplies to Ukraine to “all countries,” by which she apparently meant NATO states.
“In early March, the Russian ambassador told the deputy minister of the Czech Foreign Ministry that Russia expected terrorist attacks in Ukraine against convoys carrying Western weapons,” said Lipavsky. “This is clearly interpreted as threats that Russia itself has planned and is planning sabotage actions. The Russian side has announced that it will not be able to prevent these actions in any way, which we understand to be yet another in a series of threats from Russia. Similar messages have been conveyed by the Russians to our other EU and NATO allies.” He added that since the beginning of its aggression, Russia has been trying to dissuade EU and NATO countries from helping Ukraine.
The Czech side has been providing Ukraine with weapons and other military material. As of 6 April, the total value of the material donated to Ukraine amounted to CZK 1.1 billion. However, for security reasons, the defence ministry has not been disclosing for some time what military material it is sending to help the invaded country.