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President Zelensky Thanked Czech Republic For Help During His Visit

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On July 6, President Vladimir Zelensky of Ukraine arrived in the Czech Republic for an official visit. He held a meeting with Czech President Petr Pavel at Prague Castle, where they discussed various matters of mutual interest.

During the meeting, President Pavel informed President Zelensky that the Czech Republic had contributed a total of 45 billion crowns to support Ukraine in countering Russian aggression during the war. President Zelensky expressed his gratitude to the Czech Republic for its assistance.

The press conference held after the meeting also addressed Ukraine’s aspirations to join NATO and the upcoming summit in Vilnius, Lithuania. President Zelensky stated that it would be ideal for Ukraine to receive an invitation to join the North Atlantic Alliance at the summit. However, he acknowledged that reaching a unanimous decision among all NATO members might pose challenges.

“I believe this is the opportune moment to demonstrate the unity and determination of the alliance. We need to send a clear signal that this is a turning point for us,” Zelensky expressed, conveying his confidence that Ukraine would eventually become a NATO member. He emphasized that Ukraine currently lacked a formal invitation in any form.

President Pavel affirmed that Ukraine’s accession to NATO was in the Czech Republic’s interests. However, he suggested that negotiations should commence once the war in Ukraine had concluded.

“The Czech Republic is keen for Ukraine to initiate talks about joining NATO as soon as the war ends. This will benefit our security, regional stability, and economic prosperity. We will work towards ensuring that Ukraine’s accession talks commence before the end of this year,” Pavel stated, later reiterating his remarks on Twitter.

Security cooperation and efforts to eliminate the “terrorist threat from Russia” were also discussed during the meeting between Pavel and Zelensky. The Ukrainian president particularly highlighted the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is currently under attack by Russian occupiers.

In the context of security, Zelensky raised concerns about the detrimental impact of Russian propaganda. “Regrettably, it also influences people in the Czech Republic. We must defend ourselves against it,” emphasized the Ukrainian president.

Zelensky’s visit to the Czech Republic marked his first visit since 2009. He arrived in Prague around 8 p.m. and was welcomed at Prague Castle by President Petr Pavel and a group of supporters. Following a private meeting between Pavel and Zelensky, a Ukrainian delegation, including Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, joined them, along with Czech officials.

Today, on July 7, President Zelensky is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS), Senate President Miloš Vystrčil (ODS), and Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Marketa Pekarova-Adamova (TOP 09).

Zelensky traveled to the Czech Republic from Bulgaria, and for security reasons, his visit to Prague was kept confidential until shortly before his arrival when he announced it on his Twitter page.

“Prague is next on the agenda. I will hold talks with President Petr Pavel, Prime Minister Petr Fiala, the presidents of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, Miloš Vystrčil and Markéta Pekárová-Adamová. I will meet with members of the government, parliament, and the media,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter. He further indicated that the discussions would focus on defense support, European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine, and the NATO summit in Vilnius.

Due to personal security concerns and the need to manage the country during the ongoing conflict, President Volodymyr Zelensky rarely traveled abroad in the past. However, in recent months, he has become more active in seeking advanced weapons and military assistance from allies.

In May, Zelensky embarked on a tour of several European countries, including Italy, the Vatican, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. During the same month, he personally attended the Arab League summit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, followed by a visit to Hiroshima, Japan, for the G7 summit.

The Ukrainian president’s first overseas trip since the Russian invasion occurred in December of the previous year when he met with U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington and addressed the Congress.

Zelensky usually hosts foreign politicians at his residence in Kiev, where Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and his counterparts from Poland and Slovenia visited him last March. Additionally, he frequently engages in video conferences with foreign politicians, particularly with parliamentary representatives.

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