Zelenskiy In Prague For Talks With Senior Czech Politicians
Zelenskiy said he appreciated the warm welcome in the Czech Republic. Photo credit: Petr Pavel, via Facebook.
Prague, July 6 (CTK) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy arrived in Prague last night for talks with President Petr Pavel, at which he thanked Pavel for the Czech assistance to Ukraine, and warned of the consequences of Russian propaganda, which he said was also affecting the Czech Republic.
Zelenskiy added that what the Czech Republic is doing for the freedom of the Ukrainian people is clearly visible.
He said he would consider it ideal for Ukraine to receive an invitation to join NATO, and that the moment for unity is right, despite the difficulties in uniting all members of the alliance around the same position.
Zelenskiy said he appreciated the warm welcome in the Czech Republic. “Czech participation in the fate of Ukraine is clear, we feel it in defence, in politics, in everything we do,” he said.
He said the Czech Republic is important in terms of military aid to Ukraine, arms supplies, supporting the sanctions policy against Russia, but also in supporting Ukraine’s accession to the EU and NATO.
Zelenskiy also appreciated the fact that the Czech Republic has taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees. “We dream of the day when we will be able to guarantee security for all people and Ukrainians will be able to return to their country,” he said.
He said he would consider the ideal outcome of the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius to be an invitation for Ukraine to join NATO, though he understands that it may be difficult to get 100% support for that position. “I think this is the right moment to show the unity and bravery of the alliance. We need to give a clear signal that this is a turning point for us,” he said. From Ukraine’s point of view, an important item on the summit agenda is the debate on the next defence support package.
He is confident that Ukraine will become part of NATO. “Ukraine does not have an invitation in any form. I think we need to show the whole world and Russia the strength of the alliance and its unity,” he added. Some NATO countries still look to Moscow, he mentioned.
He and Pavel discussed common security, cooperation on strengthening defence, and eliminating “the terrorist danger from Russia”. He related this particularly to the situation at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, which is under Russian occupation. Ukraine warned this week that Russia was planning to accuse it of shelling the plant.
In this context, Zelenskiy referred to the destructive influence of Russian propaganda. “Unfortunately, it also has an impact on the environment in the country. We need to defend ourselves against it,” he said. He also called for negotiations with third countries and the implementation of a “peace formula” with their help.
“It is very important that the Czech Republic does not look to Moscow when making its independent decisions,” he said.
Zelenskiy arrived in Prague yesterday evening from Bulgaria, where he held talks with Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov and President Rumen Radev. On Friday, he will continue his Prague visit with talks with Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS), Senate Speaker Milos Vystrcil (ODS), and the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Marketa Pekarova Adamova (TOP 09), as well as meeting members of the government and parliament.