Credit: Zuzana Bonisch /

Macron and Pavel Reaffirm Support For Ukraine In French President’s Visit To Prague

French President Emmanuel Macron met Czech counterpart Petr Pavel today during an official visit to Prague. At a press conference following talks between the two presidents, Macron said that Russia must not win the war in Ukraine, and it is therefore necessary to support Ukrainian people and the local army as long as required.

Pavel said they had agreed in their talks that the only way forward was to keep supporting Ukraine. The French and Czech presidents have the same view on the possible resolutions to the situation, Pavel added.

“Not only because we see it as fundamentally correct, but also because we do not want Russia to succeed with its vision of the world,” Pavel said. “We want to live in a world where rules are respected and apply equally to larger and smaller countries.”

He said he is in favour of seeking new forms of assistance to Ukraine, including a possible auxiliary presence in the country, though not in the form of combat troops.

Macron said he considers the Czech plan to acquire ammunition for Ukraine from non-EU countries important, and that France will join it. The ministries of both countries will discuss the plans further to develop the goals set at the recent summit in Paris, he added.

On Friday, Pavel stated during a visit to Luxembourg that about 15 countries have so far signed up to the acquisition effort. He presented the plan for ammunition supplies at the Munich Security Conference in mid-February. He said that the Czech Republic has located 500,000 pieces of artillery ammunition in NATO standard calibre and another 300,000 pieces in Soviet calibre in non-EU countries.

Macron also mentioned the formation of a new coalition for delivering medium- and long-range missiles.

Macron said Europe has accelerated its production of military equipment and delivered all its available supplies, but Ukraine’s needs are such that they must go beyond stockpiles. “We have to reach out to non-European countries, we have to face the short-term need for ammunition in Ukraine,” he said.

The French President’s visit to the Czech Republic began this morning with a meeting with students of the French Lyceum in Prague, where he addressed students and members of Prague’s French community, and unveiled a plaque commemorating his visit and the inauguration of the lyceum’s new premises.

In his speech at the lyceum, Macron called on Ukraine’s allies not to be cowards in the face of forces that have become unstoppable and whose threat is expanding every day, according to the AFP news agency.

The last time a French president visited the Czech Republic was in October 2022, when Macron attended the first meeting of the European Political Community (EPC) in Prague, and the following informal European Council summit.

In the afternoon, Macron and Pavel attended a commemorative ceremony at Prague’s Jan Palach Square, after which Macron was scheduled to visit the nearby Government Office for talks with Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS). Later today, Macron will attend the Czech-French Nuclear Forum.

The French state-owned power company EDF, which operates the largest network of nuclear power plants in Europe, is one of the bidders for the construction of the new unit at the Dukovany nuclear power plant in south Moravia, together with the South Korean firm KHNP. The Czech government expects them to submit their bids in April. The contract with the selected contractor is to be signed in late 2024 or early 2025, with the first reactor starting up in 2036.

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