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First batches of shells arrive in Ukraine under Czech initiative

First batches of shells arrive in Ukraine under Czech initiative Photo: Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic Jan Lipavsky (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

The first batches of artillery ammunition purchased under the initiative of Czechia are already arriving in Ukraine. Czech officials believe they will be able to procure and deliver a significant quantity of shells this year, according to the Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský in an interview with Radio Free Europe.

"To be honest, the first batches of ammunition are arriving in Ukraine these days. Therefore, this year we will be able to procure and continuously supply a significant quantity of ammunition," he said.

The minister added that through various channels, Czechia has already transferred over a million shells to Ukraine.

According to the Foreign Minister, 20 countries have committed to participating in the initiative to purchase artillery ammunition for the Ukrainian army. Five countries have already provided funds, enabling contracts to be signed. Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal, and Canada have sent money. These agreements are already in the process of being implemented.

"So, we need to move from promises and sympathy to agreements that will be signed and funded, which is a challenge today, as you probably have in mind. Therefore, I hope we will move towards this. We know that Ukraine needs a lot of large-caliber ammunition, and we have a great opportunity. So, we hope to conclude more such agreements," Lipavský added.

About the Czech initiative

In April 2024, Czechia announced the creation of an initiative to purchase artillery shells for Ukraine from third countries. It was planned that within the program, 800 thousand ammunition units would be procured. Czechia called on partners to join the initiative.

It was expected that the first batches of shells would arrive in Ukraine in May, but there were delays.

Michal Strnad, the head of the Czech defense company CSG, explained that the delays were due to the low quality of the ammunition.