Czech visit to Kyiv successful despite missile attacks and Russia’s withdrawal from grain deal

Prime Minister Fiala's meeting with President Zelensky

A Czech government delegation led by Prime Minister Petr Fiala has returned from Kyiv, following a day of talks with their Ukrainian counterparts and President Volodymyr Zelensky. The trip was intended to express support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia and in its ambitions to join the EU and NATO.

As the leader of the country currently presiding over the EU, Prime Minister Fiala stressed the importance of demonstrating continued support for Ukraine and its people in the face of Russian aggression.

Czech government delegation led by Prime Minister Petr Fiala and  President Volodymyr Zelenskyy | Photo: Office of Czech Government

“The main subject of our meeting was how best to give Ukraine the help and support it needs, particularly as regards economic cooperation, post-war reconstruction and international support.”

The arrival of the Czech delegation, made up of eight cabinet ministers, was slightly delayed by explosions in the Kyiv region. According to the Kyiv authorities, Russian missiles, fired early in the morning, were aimed at the city’s civil infrastructure. The country’s president Volodymyr Zelensky said that during the Czech ministerial visit, 55 missiles were fired at Ukraine.

Also on the same day that the talks were being held, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia was suspending its participation in a carefully brokered deal facilitating grain exports from Ukraine. Moscow pulled out of the deal after a drone attack on its Black Sea Fleet in the annexed Crimea peninsula. Mr. Fiala said on his return that it is important to find a way to restore grain supplies from Ukraine.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala spoke in Kyiv to journalists | Photo: Office of Czech Government

“We have to find a way to renew and ensure the support of those countries that participated in the original agreement, especially Turkey. We can’t allow the situation in North Africa to destabilize as a consequence of insufficient food supplies.”

Mr. Fiala also reaffirmed the Czech Republic’s continued military, economic and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, and said that Czechia plans to send diesel electricity generators worth 20 million crowns to the country to help restore power outages caused by Russian attacks in the Dnepropetrovsk and Lviv regions.

The Prime Minister also praised the progress that Ukraine has made on its way to meeting the conditions for EU membership. In June, the European Commission gave Ukraine EU candidate status, but a condition of full membership is that the country carries out a number of reforms connected with the rule of law and corruption. Mr. Fiala said that the path to EU membership is long and slow but the Czech EU Presidency will try its best to achieve the desired result this year.

The prime ministers of both countries watched the signing of the memorandum | Photo: Office of Czech Government

“It is not at all easy to fulfil the requirements – it’s a long and complicated process. Ukraine is taking clear steps in this direction, be it in the legal field or in the fight against corruption.”

After the negotiations, the Czech and Ukrainian ministers signed memoranda on further cooperation in the economic and political spheres. Mr. Fiala subsequently met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, from whom he received a state award, The Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise. Mr. Fiala also invited the Ukrainian government to come to Prague next year.

Petr Fiala receiving the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise | Photo: Office of Czech Government
Author: Anna Fodor
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