A proposal to train Ukrainian soldiers in the Czech Republic and to deploy Czech soldiers in member states to train Ukrainian soldiers there was approved by Czech lawmakers on Tuesday.
“The priority is to help train Ukrainian soldiers to fight the Russian aggressor successfully,” Czech Defence Minister Jana Černochová (ODC, ECR) told Czech lawmakers. The government’s proposal has yet to be finally approved by the Senate, which is expected to vote on the matter on Thursday.
According to the government’s proposal, five four-week tours should take place by the end of next year, with up to 800 Ukrainian soldiers participating in each.
The exercise is based on a bilateral agreement between the Czech and Ukrainian governments. According to the documents, it should eventually be transferred to the European Union Assistance Mission, which could reimburse the Czech Republic for part of the estimated costs, Czech News Agency informed.
According to the minister, the Czech army will gain new experience by training Ukrainian soldiers, including knowledge of the Russian-Ukrainian war operations.
The move was criticised by the pro-Russian Freedom and Direct Democracy Party (ID), whose members were the only ones voting against it. “The priority of the current government is the support of Ukraine and Ukrainians, the continuation of the war conflict,” said party member Radovan Vích.
The Czech Republic should also allocate up to 55 people to serve in other EU member states in the mission’s command structures or as instructors. The aim is to provide training for up to 15,000 Ukrainians, mainly at the base in Poland.
The House also approved an extension of Czech participation in the NATO mission in Iraq.
Moreover, a new mission will deploy up to 40 military police officers to Kosovo, where they will serve in a unit of Italian police from July 2023 to December 2024.
(Aneta Zachová | EURACTIV.cz)