Czech President-elect praises Poland's help for Ukraine
Czech president-elect Petr Pavel has said he is proud that Poland and the Czech Republic were among the countries which first decided to help Ukraine and are still at the forefront in this respect.
In his first post-election interview for PAP and Polish Radio on Wednesday Pavel praised Poland and his country for providing military aid to Ukraine "within their capacities" and "since the beginning."
He said that if an agreement is reached with possible suppliers, including Poland and Germany, more military equipment may be delivered to Ukraine.
However, Pavel added, "We are really on the verge of increasing the level of risk, because further deliveries from our stockpiles would threaten the defence capabilities of Nato member states."
The Czech President-elect also confirmed his plan to travel to Poland. "I spoke with President Andrzej Duda. He expressed his interest in having an informal meeting as soon as possible... My intentions regarding the second official foreign trip, whose destination would be Poland, are up to date," Pavel said.
He added that the aim of his visit would be "to reassure our friends in Poland and the Baltic States that nothing has changed in the perception of allied obligations by the Czech Republic".
"We deem the principle of solidarity as part of collective defence to be crucial for our security," Pavel said in an apparent reference to the speech of his competitor in the election campaign, Andrej Babis, who said that he would not send Czech troops into an open conflict if Russia attacked Poland or the Baltic countries.
Pavel also talked about the Visegrad Group, formed of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, and the preparations for the Nato summit in Vilnius, scheduled for July.
"It is important that we have a common position - as far as possible," he said and declared to discuss this during talks with Poland.