Czech Ministers To Hold Meeting With Their Ukrainian Counterparts in Kyiv on Monday
The Czech Government Office has therefore not yet released the identities of the Czech delegation, which is to include about six ministers. Photo credit: Petr Fiala, via Facebook.
Prague, Oct 28 (CTK) – The post-war reconstruction of Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees in the Czech Republic will be among the issues on the agenda of a meeting of Czech ministers with their Ukrainian counterparts in Kyiv on Monday, which will be held under tough security measures amid the continuing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The Czech Government Office has therefore not yet released the identities of the Czech delegation, which is to include about six ministers. Information about the ministers’ transport to Ukraine and the time of their departure from the Czech Republic will probably not be released either.
The Czech cabinet announced its planned joint meeting with the Ukrainian cabinet three weeks ago, when PM Petr Fiala (ODS) and his Ukrainian counterpart Denys Shmyhal confirmed the plan during a meeting on the margins of the Prague summit of the European Political Community (EPC).
About one third of the Czech cabinet will set off for Kyiv. Fiala previously mentioned that the trip would include six ministers in this connection, adding that the choice of ministers partly depends on the Ukrainian side’s needs regarding the content of the discussions.
Last week, the Czech State Security Council (BRS) discussed the security aspects of the trip. According to the tabloid Blesk, the Czech delegation is to include Interior Minister Vit Rakusan (STAN), Finance Minister Zbynek Stanjura (ODS), Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky (Pirates) and Defence Minister Jana Cernochova (ODS).
Education Minister Vladimir Balas (STAN) told journalists on Thursday that he is unlikely to participate.
“I seem not to be going there. On the contrary, the Ukrainian education minister will come to the Czech Republic,” said Balas, adding that issues which need to be discussed include a bilateral agreement on online learning provided from Ukraine.
“It interferes with their lessons in the Czech Republic and excessively burdens the Ukrainian children, preventing them from social contacts with their Czech peers,” Balas said.
He said PM Fiala would debate these issues in Kyiv on a preliminary basis, and the rest will be discussed in talks with the Ukrainian minister in Prague.
The Czech cabinet regularly holds meetings in a similar format with counterparts from Poland, Slovakia and Israel.
The ministerial visit to Kyiv is taking place during the Czech presidency of the Council of the EU.
“We will follow up the consultations that the prime minister and I had during our previous visits to Kyiv,” Lipavsky told CTK recently. “Within the talks, we will discuss the involvement of Czech NGOs and firms in the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine, and Czech support for Ukraine’s integration in the EU.”
Stanjura said that besides aid to Kyiv, the agenda of the talks will also focus on the possible arrival of more Ukrainian refugees in the Czech Republic.
Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, the Czech Republic has granted 450,090 temporary protection visas to Ukrainians, which open their access to public health insurance, education and the labour market.
Two weeks ago, the Finance Ministry said the state had spent CZK 13.9 billion on dealing with the influx of refugees up to the end of September, and a further CZK three billion were spent by towns and regions by the end of July.
The Czech Republic is one of the biggest supporters of Ukraine against the Russian aggression. The export of military material to Ukraine has reached CZK 47 billion, Cernochova said.
Fiala visited Kyiv in mid-March, shortly after the start of the invasion. together with his Polish and Slovenian counterparts Mateusz Morawiecki and Janez Jansa. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy described their visit as a strong display of support for his country.