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Czechia Sends 30 Companies to Rebuild Ukraine

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We want to help Czech companies to be able to get international investments for deliveries to Ukraine, Tomáš Kopečný, the government commissioner for the reconstruction of Ukraine, told Právo. A delegation of 30 companies will head to Ukraine this week.

How do you assess the visit of Ukrainian President Zelensky to Prague? Did you have a chance to meet him?

Yes, I attended the meeting and the dinner with the President. It is very important that President Zelensky and his delegation came to Prague. All the difficult logistical and security arrangements went smoothly and the meetings with both the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister were very concrete. Whether it concerns security guarantees, arms supplies or what Czech companies can do for the Ukrainian energy sector or the railway, for example.

We also addressed specific projects, whether Czech or bilateral, and what we will be doing in the coming months. These were arms projects or even joint production ventures.

You are now going to Ukraine with businessmen. When and where will you go and how long will the mission last?

I cannot fully disclose the exact schedule for security reasons, but we will pass through four of the most important Ukrainian cities from our point of view, including Kiev. The main goal of the mission is to really intensively build direct contacts of our companies with their Ukrainian partners, both businesses and administrations. In each city we have meetings with the national and regional chamber of commerce. The mission will last a week.

How many representatives of companies are travelling with you, from which sectors?

It will be a little over thirty companies from three sectors, energy, healthcare and transport. We have deliberately designed it this way because these are the sectors that have been most attacked by the Russian aggressors since the beginning of the war. We have planned some other missions, for example with arms companies, later this year, similarly to those of companies active in the environmental sector. Those will be separate missions.

For example, Skoda Transportation is participating in the tender for trains for the Kiev metro. Can you mention other examples of what Czech companies offer to Ukraine?

Here I would divide it into strategic tenders and projects that are in the order of billions of crowns. These need to be discussed at the highest political level. I will also have meetings with several ministers and we will continue to discuss projects that started several months ago.

But specifically on this mission, we will try to conclude smaller-scale contracts, for things that we have already started to supply to Ukraine. Often they were paid for with Czech government aid, ordered by the state from companies and sent to Ukraine where they were needed. These projects are supposed to build on what we have delivered, but they are supposed to be bigger and paid for with international money, World Bank funds, USAID, it will take time.

What are the deliveries, for example?

I will mention a few things, some of which I will be there to present at the ceremony. They will be cogeneration units. That means power units for urban areas, water purifiers, equipment for hospitals, whether beds or equipment for intensive care units, ambulances. Or, for example, units to house temporarily displaced refugees, there is more.

Have you quantified the amount of Czech aid to Ukraine to date, both military and humanitarian?

We do. Military assistance to Ukraine is roughly two billion dollars, or forty-five billion crowns. However, where we are talking about the whole of what we have supplied, whether contractually from international money, the American, Dutch or Ukrainian budget, or what we have taken out of our own stocks and for which we have then been compensated, for example, by the United States Government or the European Union. We also include what is raised by people through crowdfunding, such as the Gift for Putin.

Honestly the number itself is not that impressive, the most interesting thing is that we have delivered really huge and I think the largest numbers of heavy combat equipment that is valued in book values for little money because it is just older Soviet equipment that we are modernizing.

So if you put it on a financial scale, all of our assistance is less than two Patriots, but practically, of course, our assistance has been more significant. The Czech government allocated CZK 1.5 billion for other humanitarian and development projects last year and this year.

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