Government approves training of Ukrainian soldiers in the Czech Republic
The government recently approved a mandate for the Czech Army to operate on the territory of EU member states, in Iraq, Kuwait and Kosovo until 2024, and also agreed to the stay and training of Ukrainian soldiers on the territory of the Czech Republic. The training of Ukrainian soldiers is based on a bilateral agreement between the governments of the Czech Republic and Ukraine, but will eventually be transferred to the EU Assistance Mission. According to the approved mandate, there will be five rotations, each of which may include up to 800 Ukrainian soldiers.
"Training Ukrainian soldiers is another way to help Ukrainians fight Russian aggressors. During our meeting in Kiev, there was considerable demand from the Ukrainian delegation for training of medics, chemists, engineers and also a mechanized battalion. I am glad that we can meet the Ukrainians and give them our valuable experience," said Defence Minister Jana Černochová.
Specifically, it will involve up to 700 members of the mechanised battalion and 40 members of the security units, 30 medical specialists, 10 chemical specialists and 20 engineer specialists. The remaining four training cycles with the same composition are planned for next year.
Although this training is based on the above-mentioned bilateral negotiations, it is planned to be transferred in the future to the European Union Assistance Mission, which was approved by the EU in mid-October. This mission is aimed at training Ukrainian soldiers on the territory of EU Member States, and the Czech Republic will assign 55 persons to the mission to serve in the command structures of this mission or as instructors, according to the approved mandate. The approved mandate also addresses other foreign destinations where the Czech Armed Forces are operating. In Iraq, the presence of the allies is supported by a number of local leaders and our NATO allies have already declared that they continue to count on operating in this area. The Czech Republic has also confirmed its presence in 2023 and 2024 with 20 personnel.
In the Western Balkans, the Czech Republic has accepted an offer to deploy a force of up to 40 military police officers in Kosovo, which will join the Italian Carabinieri force from 1 July 2023 to 31 December 2024. On the other hand, the presence in Mali is no longer foreseen in view of the situation in the country and the mission is scheduled to end on 31 December this year.
The total amount of financial resources for the foreign operations of the Czech Armed Forces is estimated at CZK 306 million until 2024. The cost of training Ukrainian soldiers in the Czech Republic is estimated at CZK 975 million, of which CZK 195 million this year and CZK 780 million next year. These funds will be covered by the Ministry of Defence, however, the training costs will be partially reimbursed through EU financial instruments once the training is transferred to the EU Assistance Mission.