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Without Western support for Ukraine, RF army would already be in Kyiv - Czech Ministry of Defense

Without Western support for Ukraine, RF army would already be in Kyiv - Czech Ministry of Defense Photo: Czech self-propelled gun Dana-M2 (Defence Express)

Czech Deputy Defence Minister Jan Jireš, during parliamentary debates on January 9, refuted claims that military assistance from Western partners "hinders diplomatic and peaceful resolution of the conflict," according to České noviny.

The discussions revolved around petitions from the anti-government group Czechia Against Poverty, suggesting to cease rhetoric stating that "Czechia is in a state of war" and to halt the supply of weapons to Ukraine.

A peaceful resolution of the conflict is needed

Representative of the association and chairman of the non-parliamentary party, Right of Respect and Dignity, Jindřich Reichl, and other representatives of the political force emphasized the necessity of a diplomatic and peaceful resolution of the conflict.

According to Reichl, statements claiming that Czechia is fighting for Ukraine do not correspond to reality. He called it a lie and pure manipulation.

"Anyone pushing Ukraine towards further conflict is pushing Ukraine towards destruction. Every day of prolonging the war in Ukraine means more suffering, more unnecessary deaths, more needless bloodshed, more economic losses, and further deterioration of Ukraine's position in negotiations for a possible peace," noted the chairman of Right of Respect and Dignity."

The decision depends on Putin personally

In response, Deputy Minister of Defense of Czechia Jan Jireš stated that the decision to end the war depends entirely on Russia and its President, Vladimir Putin.

"Enemy missiles will not fall on the territory of Czechia if we help Ukraine defend its independence," he said.

He pointed out that Russia itself has repeatedly spoken about fighting against the entire West, including against Czechia. "Undoubtedly, if we did not support Ukraine militarily from the very beginning - Czechia, Poland, almost all other European countries, and other countries around the world - the Russian army would be in Kyiv today, or even in Uzhhorod," said Jireš.

To this, Reichl remarked that "hysterical ideology triumphs over sober reality" and that the lies from the Ministry of Defense are a "kind of departmental sport."

"The national interest of Czechia is not an independent Ukraine; the national interest of Czechia is the security, prosperity, and sovereignty of Czechia. Mr. Reichl is very loud, but very often he talks nonsense," emphasized the head of the Right of Respect and Dignity party.

First Vice President of Right of Respect and Dignity Petr Vacek stated that a peaceful solution should ensure Ukraine's full sovereignty. Reichl, on the other hand, argued that peaceful negotiations are not capitulation and that there was never a proposal to agree to all Russian demands. However, he is also convinced that Ukraine will never defeat Russia militarily.

Peace only on Ukraine's terms

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Czechia Jan Marian emphasized that peace must be fair and by international law. Therefore, the only legitimate proposal is the Ukrainian peace plan presented by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

"Any peaceful settlement must be agreed upon with Ukraine and Ukrainian society. Russia, in particular, has the opportunity to immediately cease its aggression," he said.

At the same time, Marian added that Czech diplomacy is not interested in peace on Russia's terms. According to him, Ukraine defends Europe, and therefore Czechia, from the Kremlin's aggressive behavior, so military assistance to Kyiv aligns entirely with Czech security interests.

Initiatives for peaceful negotiations to end the war in Ukraine

Bloomberg reported that on December 16, a secret meeting took place in Saudi Arabia involving Ukraine, G7 countries, and a small group of states from the global South. During the discussion, a plan for conducting peace talks with Russia on terms set by Kyiv was explored.

Representative of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense, Andrii Yusov, noted that despite Russian propaganda claims, there is indeed a desire in Moscow for a swift end to the war. Ukraine shares this desire but on its terms and in accordance with international law.

Experts from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) pointed out that the Kremlin might be using these "signals" to the West to suggest a purported readiness to "pause" the war against Ukraine, aiming to reduce defensive assistance from partner countries. Analysts reminded that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has previously expressed similar manipulations, particularly concerning the topic of peace negotiations.