PRAGUE (REUTERS) – The Czech Republic has sent T-72 tanks and BVP-1 infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine, a Czech defense source told Reuters on Tuesday (April 5th), confirming a local media report.
State broadcaster Czech Television initially reported on the shipment, showing footage on Twitter of a train loaded with five tanks and five combat vehicles. He said the shipment was a gift agreed with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies.
The broadcaster said the information was confirmed by the head of the Czech lower house’s EU affairs committee, Mr Ondrej Benesik. He told Reuters he had received the information from his Christian Democratic party’s defense expert.
The source, from the Czech defense community, also confirmed that the tanks and combat vehicles had been dispatched, but declined to give further details, citing security concerns.
Defense Minister Jana Cernochova told parliament she would neither confirm nor deny details of Czech aid to Ukraine.
“I will only assure you that the Czech Republic (…) helps Ukraine as much as it can and will continue to help by (providing) military equipment, light and heavy,” she said.
A Defense Ministry spokesman said the Czech Republic had sent military aid worth nearly 1 billion crowns (S$61 billion) to Ukraine since the war began on February 24, but declined to give further details.
Czech vehicles are just the latest example of military hardware coming from the West.
Germany on April 1 approved the delivery to Ukraine of several dozen infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) amid criticism that Berlin has not sent enough military aid to Kyiv.
NATO allies will discuss delivering more weapons to Ukraine when foreign ministers meet on Wednesday and Thursday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.