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Czech Republic, Ukraine to intensify military cooperation

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Kiev/Prague, May 29 (CTK) – Ukraine will intensify its military cooperation with the Czech Republic, Ukrainian Defence Minister Stepan Poltorak told journalists on Monday after meeting his Czech counterpart Martin Stropnicky, now on a two-day visit to the country.

They also discussed cooperation in the training of soldiers and acquisition of military equipment for the Ukrainian military waging a war against pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The Czech Defence Ministry has said on its web page that Stropnicky appreciated Ukraine’s ability to reform its armed forces during the war conflict.

He stressed that four Czech experts were working in the NATO liaison office in Kiev. It was established to coordinate and intensify practical cooperation of NATO and Ukraine.

“The Czech Republic supports the European and euro-Atlantic heading of the country. A sovereign, independent and stable democratic Ukraine is crucial for in the euro-Atlantic region,” Stropnicky said.

He spoke about changes in the system of granting the licences for export of military materiel to Ukraine.

“The applications will be newly reviewed by the routine steps like in any other case,” Stropnicky said.

“We discussed the joint participation of our authorities in planned international exercises this year,” Poltorak said.

“We reviewed the questions connected with the training of soldiers and logistic projects,” Poltorak said, according to the news agency UNN.

They also spoke about intensified cooperation in the provision of military equipment for the Ukrainian armed forces and in the sphere of military health care.

Turning to the latest development of the situation in the Donbas, Poltorak said the “degree of the violation of the Minsk (peace) agreements by Russia and terrorist groups is exceptionally high.”

He thanked for the clear position of both Stropnicky and the Czech Republic regarding “Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, a clear stance regarding the necessity to continue with the sanctions against Russia, for the stance that the Czech Republic does not recognise the annexation of Crimea and the occupation of Donetsk and Luhansk.”

Kiev often calls the pro-Russian separatists “terrorists.” Moscow has denied any accusation of support for the rebels. The conflict has claimed 10,000 lives since April 2014.

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