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UPDATE: Polish, Czech defence ministers discuss Ukraine aid, regional security

18.08.2022 21:45
The Polish and Czech defence ministers met in Warsaw on Thursday to discuss Russia's war against Ukraine, Western aid to Kyiv, and security in Europe, officials told reporters.
Polands Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak (left) and his Czech counterpart Jana ernochov (right) meet in Warsaw on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022.
Poland’s Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak (left) and his Czech counterpart Jana Černochová (right) meet in Warsaw on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022.Photo: PAP/Piotr Nowak

Poland’s Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak and the Czech Republic's Jana Černochová talked about military cooperation between the two countries and further Western support for Ukraine as it battles Russia's invasion, according to the Polish defence ministry.

Other topics included cooperation as part of the NATO alliance, the 27-nation European Union and the regional Visegrad Group (V4), which brings together Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

Błaszczak and Černochová also explored ways to strengthen ties between the Polish and Czech defence industries amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, officials said.

Poland's Błaszczak told reporters after the talks that both Poland and the Czech Republic "are against Russia's aggression."

Błaszczak said, as quoted by his defence ministry: "We have identical historical experiences. After World War II, our countries were dominated by Moscow. We do not want to return to this situation and therefore we support, but also strengthen our own armed forces."

He also said that Poland and the Czech Republic "are neighbours who cooperate with each other."

He added that "this is particularly important when it comes to the challenges we face, and in fact the whole of Europe is facing ... These challenges relate to Russian aggression against Ukraine and Putin's attempts to rebuild the Russian empire."

Błaszczak thanked his Czech counterpart "for military cooperation, for joint exercises, but also for cooperation in the field of defence industry" as well as "cooperation on the EU forum," according to the Polish defence ministry.

Meanwhile, the Czech Republic's Černochová was cited as saying that she and Błaszczak "talked about how to stop Putin and Russia because the next countries could be the Baltic states or Poland."

"Therefore, when we talked about deterrence, we talked about the modernization of the army" and "joint military exercises," she added, as quoted by the Polish defence ministry.

She thanked Poland "for what Poland does for Ukraine and how Poland supports the transport of military aid to Ukraine," according to the Polish defence ministry.

Thursday was day 176 of Russia's war in Ukraine.


Source: IAR

Click on the audio player above for a report by Radio Poland's Michał Owczarek.