Czech President calls Ukraine's hopes to regain occupied territories naïve

Wednesday, 15 May 2024

Czech President Petr Pavel believes it is naïve to think that Ukraine will be able to regain the occupied territories from Russia "in the foreseeable future." After all, Russia will not just give them back.

As reported by Ceske Noviny, Pavel called in an interview with SkyNews for a realistic view of the situation.

"I think it would be naive to say that Ukraine can liberate the occupied territories in the foreseeable future. Russia is not going to give up the occupied territories just like that. We need to stop the war and then start discussing future agreements. This may be a compromise, but not without the consent of Ukraine, Russia and the countries that will guarantee this agreement," he said.

Later, he added on Twitter (X) that he has long emphasised the need to support Ukraine by all possible means in accordance with international law. "Part of this legitimate support is also increasing the supply of ammunition and military equipment to Ukraine – among other things through the Czech ammunition initiative," he wrote.


Russia could end the conflict immediately, but it is not interested in doing so as long as it hopes to achieve its goals of invading Ukraine, removing its democratically elected government and demilitarising a sovereign country, he added.

However, Pavel said that military support for Ukraine did not rule out finding a solution to end the conflict.

"On the contrary, this should happen simultaneously. At the same time, it must be true that any future peace agreement necessarily involves the consent of Ukraine, taking into account its basic interests," he wrote. That is why he accepted an invitation from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to a conference in Switzerland in June on peace in Ukraine.

Pavel's words were interpreted by Lubomír Metnar, the chairman of the Czech parliamentary defence committee, as a call for an end to the war and at the same time an admission that Ukraine might have to make territorial compromises.

Andrej Babiš, the head of the opposition ANO movement, said that he had been arguing for a year and a half that it was necessary to try to stop the fighting and act diplomatically.

Deputy Prime Minister Vít Rakušan said that Pavel is consistent in his position that it is necessary to stop the fighting and negotiate peace in Ukraine. "There is no need to artificially divide the world into those who want peace and those who want war because we all want peace. But not peace on Moscow's terms," he said. He added that the inviolability of Ukraine's territorial integrity and Czechia's determination to help Ukraine diplomatically and militarily remain unchanged.

Czech President Petr Pavel does not believe that Western countries have lost hope that Ukraine will win the war.

He also said that Europe is at the beginning of a long confrontation with Russia, but it will not necessarily be a military one.

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