Czech Foreign Minister: Kharkiv and other cities aren't Kremlin's real target

Thursday, 30 May 2024 —

Czechia’s Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský has said that Russia continues to pursue its goal to undermine European security architecture, and the West has to show that it understands this.

An informal meeting of the NATO foreign ministers is taking place in Prague on 30-31 May; the goal of the meeting is to prepare for the NATO summit in Washington, DC, this June.

"We have to send a strong signal to Russia that we will not go back to the security architecture that existed before 1997 [the year of NATO’s expansion in Europe – ed.]. Because that was one of Russia’s demands when it started its aggression against Ukraine in 2022," Lipavský said in a comment to journalists.

According to Lipavský, this, alongside the redrawing of Russia’s borders, is the key objective of Russia’s military aggression, and the Alliance has to understand Russia’s tactical actions as tools intended to bring Russia closer to realising that goal.


"Putin’s goal is not to capture Kharkiv or another city in the east [of Ukraine]. His goal is to redraw the borders and fundamentally change European security architecture," Lipavský said.

The NATO foreign ministers meeting is taking place in Czechia because the country has assumed a key role in coordinating military aid for Ukraine. For example, the Armed Forces of Ukraine will receive 50,000-100,000 large-calibre artillery shells a month under the Czech initiative.

Czechia has also supported lifting the ban on Ukraine that prevents it from striking military targets in Russia.

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