President Zeman Declares Support For Further Arms Supplies To Ukraine and Training of Soldiers

President Miloš Zeman told CNN Prima News that he supports further arms deliveries to Ukraine and Czech involvement in the training of Ukrainian soldiers. Photo credit:  

Czech Republic, July 5 (BD) – Czech president Miloš Zeman participated in a special interview on 3 July on CNN Prima News, in which he predicted that the war in Ukraine will be long and wearing. “In that case, unfortunately, the natural consequence is a growing number of casualties on both sides,” he said. Thus, he believes it cannot be ruled out that as the number of Russian military losses rises, pressure from the Russian population will intensify and lead to changes in the Russian political structure. “It’s a sad calculation, but I think it’s a rational one,” added Zeman.

The president said he was in favour of supplying further arms to Ukraine and would also like to deepen the Czech Republic’s involvement in training Ukrainian soldiers. On that note, Prime Minister Petr Fiala told Czech Television that the Czech Republic is ready to join the training of Ukrainian soldiers if necessary. According to Fiala, it is still necessary to provide military assistance to Ukraine, but the Czech Republic also needs financial support from Western countries for the military equipment provided.

“If it were not for the Russian aggression in Ukraine, I would not have agreed to it,” Zeman said about the involvement in training soldiers of the Ukrainian armed forces. Defence Minister Jana Černochová said this week that intensive negotiations are underway on this issue, with various types of training under consideration.

The European Union has already approved six packages of sanctions against Russia, with more under negotiation. It has excluded most Russian banks from the SWIFT international payments system, but Gazprombank has so far not been targeted. Zeman expressed scepticism about the effectiveness of the sanctions imposed so far: “Such somewhat comical actions as the black list, that is, the list of people who are not allowed to travel somewhere, do not affect the economy or the mood of the population,” he said, adding that the most effective sanctions are the exclusion of Russian banks from the SWIFT system.

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