Czech PM Fiala and President Pavel Meet Von der Leyen in Prague

After brief talks with Fiala, Von der Leyen had a meeting with Czech President Petr Pavel. Photo credit: Petr Pavel, via Facebook. 

Prague, May 3 (CTK) – European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen met with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and President Petr Pavel in Prague yesterday. Fiala and Von Der Leyen discussed energy projects, the National Recovery Plan and the latest affairs of European and world politics, Fiala wrote on Twitter.

Fiala said that the Czech Republic would use the National Recovery Plan to solve its energy self-sufficiency, among other things.

After brief talks with Fiala, Von der Leyen had a meeting with Czech President Petr Pavel. Originally, they were due to meet in April during Pavel’s visit to Brussels, but Von Der Leyen cancelled the meeting as she went to Germany because of the birth of her grandson. Von der Leyen instead offered to come to Prague to see Pavel instead, leading to yesterday’s visit.

At a press conference after the meeting, Von Der Leyen said that the total support from EU member states for Ukraine since the invasion by Russia has so far amounted to over 68 billion euros and that this everyday tangible aid must continue.

Pavel expressed appreciation for Von der Leyen’s long-term support for Ukraine in terms of material supplies, highlighting ammunition, which he said is essential for Ukraine’s defence and rumoured counteroffensive.

EU member states have agreed to continue to finance ammunition supplies to Ukraine, Von der Leyen said, adding that the European Commission would propose specific legislation on EU ammunition production at its meeting on Wednesday, which should speed up production across the continent to support Ukrainian supplies.

The draft legislation will also include funding of about 500 million euros, with co-financing from member states of 1 billion euros, she added.

Von der Leyen also thanked Czech citizens for their exemplary solidarity with Ukrainian war refugees. The Czech Republic has accepted the highest number of refugees from Ukraine per capita.

In return, Pavel praised Von Der Leyen’s stances on Ukraine. “I appreciate her consistency and courage in expressing her views, which are not always perceived with unanimous understanding,” he said.

He also positively assessed her position on Ukraine’s possible future EU membership. “We know that it will not be easy, but we are ready to help Ukraine overcome all obstacles,” Pavel said. He said that EU enlargement was in the interest of the whole of Europe, its stability and security.

During talks that lasted just under half an hour, Pavel and Von der Leyen also discussed EU relations with China. Pavel said all democratic countries should cooperate on a common policy towards China, “to be able to create a sufficient counterbalance together in the strategic competition with China in all areas,” he said.

According to Pavel, China and democratic countries do not share common values ​​and they have different long-term strategic goals. “We must look at our relations with China from this perspective,” Pavel said.

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