Czech and Slovak governments increase military aid to Ukraine

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PRAGUE, Feb 27 (Reuters) – The Czech government on Sunday increased military aid to Ukraine as it battles Russian troops, backing an additional package worth 400 million crowns ($18.23 million ), while Slovakia also approved a second aid shipment in as many days.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Defense Minister Jana Cernochova both declined to detail the content of the latest aid approved on Sunday due to security concerns.

But they said it was more than small arms that were part of a shipment approved on Saturday, and Fiala said the aid would immediately help Ukraine’s defences. Read more

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“We are in an environment where GRU (Russian military intelligence) agents can still move around,” Cernochova said, explaining why officials did not provide details.

The country has so far provided military aid worth over 600 million crowns ($27 million), according to the Defense Ministry.

Slovakia, which shares a border with Ukraine and has taken in at least 25,000 fleeing refugees, approved a 4.4 million euro military package on Sunday, according to the government website.

Details of the aid, which followed an €11million aid package including 120mm artillery ammunition and fuel approved on Saturday, were expected after a government meeting.

The Czech Ministry of Industry also donated hundreds of tons of fuel.

Both the Czech Republic and Slovakia have been firm in their condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Last year, the Czech Republic faced the biggest diplomatic row with Russia in its post-communist history after it accused Moscow of deadly explosions at an arms depot in 2014.

Russia has denied any involvement, but the row led to the expulsion of dozens of workers from the Russian embassy in Prague, which has long been seen as a hotbed of espionage activity.

($1 = 21.9420 Czech crowns)

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Reporting by Jason Hovet and Jan Lopatka; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Alison Williams

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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