Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Ihor Zhovkva is on a working visit to the Czech Republic scheduled for May 16-18.
During a meeting with Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Petr Fiala on Tuesday, Ihor Zhovkva conveyed words of profound gratitude from President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the Czech government and the Czech people for their strong support in countering Russian military aggression.
"The Czech Republic is one of Ukraine's key European partners, which provides significant political and practical assistance to Ukraine and is one of the five key suppliers of weapons to our country," said Ihor Zhovkva.
In the context of the reconstruction of Ukraine, the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic was invited to consider the possibility of patronage over one of the cities or regions of our country.
During a meeting with President of the Senate of the Czech Parliament Miloš Vystrčil, ways to strengthen the parliamentary dimension of cooperation between the two countries were discussed. Ihor Zhovkva thanked for the uncompromising position of the Czech Parliament on Russian aggression, in particular for the recently approved Senate resolution in support of Ukraine, which recognizes Russia's actions as genocide of the Ukrainian people.
The agenda of the meeting with Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský included the coordination of the efforts of Ukraine and the Czech Republic to overcome the challenges associated with full-scale Russian aggression against our state. In particular, the results of the meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council held the day before were discussed. The interlocutors agreed on the need to further strengthen sanctions against Russia and to impose a sixth package of sanctions as soon as possible, which must include an oil embargo.
The Deputy Head of the President's Office thanked the Czech Republic and the Czech people for providing temporary shelter to more than 300,000 Ukrainians who were forced to leave their home due to the war, and for creating all necessary conditions for their comfortable stay.
The key topic of Ihor Zhovkva's meeting with Minister of European Affairs Mikuláš Bek was to attract the support of the Czech Republic in the implementation of Ukraine's aspirations to become a member of the European Union. In this context, the Czech side's attention was drawn to the importance of the approval by EU member states of the decision to grant Ukraine the status of a candidate country for EU membership in the near future. Ihor Zhovkva called on the Czech side not only to support such a decision, but also to make efforts to persuade other EU states, which are still showing a more restrained position.
Mikuláš Bek outlined the priorities of the Czech presidency of the EU Council in the second half of 2022 and presented some initiatives to consolidate the financial support for our country. Ihor Zhovkva thanked his interlocutor for the fact that Ukraine has a special place among these priorities of the presidency.
"We look forward to the active role of the future Czech presidency of the EU Council in supporting the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine. Despite all the challenges to the security of our country, despite Russia's military aggression and numerous casualties and destruction, Ukraine is confidently moving towards the dream of membership in the European Union. And on this path we are assisted by true friends, such as the Czech Republic," Ihor Zhovkva said.
The key topics of the meeting with Head of the Foreign Department at the Office of the President of the Czech Republic Rudolf Jindrák were the priorities of the Czech presidency of the EU Council and the importance of coordinating the parties' efforts to combat Russian aggression. Ihor Zhovkva made special emphasis on the need to increase the sanctions pressure on the aggressor state.
Meetings with representatives of the Czech and Ukrainian business circles are also planned during the visit. Possibilities of attracting business to the reconstruction of our state, as well as prospects for expanding trade and economic cooperation, which will be opened in the process of Ukraine's integration into the European Union, will be discussed.