Czech President supports NATO troop assistance in Ukraine: clarifying international norms

, 21:09, 12.03.2024
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Description: Czech President Petr Pavel asserts that the presence of NATO troops in Ukraine does not breach international norms, citing past missions and legal principles.

Czech President supports NATO troop assistance in Ukraine: clarifying international norms

Czech President Petr Pavel

Czech President Petr Pavel stated that the presence of NATO troops in Ukraine does not violate any international norms. He revealed that after the annexation of Crimea and the occupation of parts of Donbas, a NATO training mission operated on Ukrainian territory, consisting of approximately 1000 personnel from 15 NATO member states. The North Atlantic Alliance has been conducting exercises and operations in third countries for decades, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, or Syria.

Following a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, who initiated a discussion in Europe about sending allied troops to Ukraine, Czech President Petr Pavel echoed the sentiment. The Czech leader clarified that NATO forces can provide support directly on Ukrainian territory without violating any international principles. His statement was reported by Euractiv.

Czech President's Vision for NATO Troops in Ukraine According to Czech leader Petr Pavel, there should be a clear distinction between the deployment of NATO units in a third country and possible engagement of allied forces in certain "supporting" actions, a practice NATO has been employing for decades.

It should be noted that after the annexation of Crimea and the Russian occupation of parts of Donbas, which was an open aggression against Ukraine by the Kremlin, a NATO training mission operated on Ukrainian territory, which at one point consisted of nearly a thousand personnel sent by 15 allied states.
Czech President reminded.

He also emphasized that from the perspective of international law and the United Nations Charter, there is nothing preventing NATO troops from directly assisting Ukraine on its territory. He also mentioned European civilians who can provide assistance as volunteers, which is already happening.

Unlike other Alliance leaders, the Czech President positively responded to the idea recently put forward by the French President. He said that such a discussion in Europe is necessary because of the current circumstances.

Our law allows us to train Ukrainian soldiers on their territory. We could, at any time, agree with our allies that instead of training the Ukrainian military on the territory of NATO member states, such as Poland or the Czech Republic, we send several dozen instructors to Ukrainian territory to conduct these trainings on-site. This seems to be a more appropriate solution than the current situation, where thousands of soldiers from Ukraine travel abroad for exercises during the war.

Pavel: Moscow is aware of NATO's strength, that's why they don't attack us

The Czech leader recalled that after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, Moscow intimidated the West, claiming that it would attack anyone who helped Ukraine. "We heard that anyone who assists Ukraine in any way will be a legitimate target. But nothing followed that", he recalled.

Today, we are not only supplying weapons to Ukraine, we are supplying tanks, and perhaps soon we will supply aircraft and medium-range cruise missiles. We have been supplying for two years now, and there has been no Russian attack on NATO territory. Russia knows very well that it would be a war of much greater magnitude than what Putin is doing now - Pavel said.

He added that Russia is aware of NATO's strength, and that's why it will be afraid of direct confrontation with the Alliance. According to the Czech leader, Western allies must have the courage to defend their actions in accordance with the law. "Because in the light of the principles of the Alliance, assistance in training or maintaining military equipment in a sovereign third country with its consent does not mean starting a war with Russia; it is still supporting Ukraine in its war with Russia", he explained.

#NATO#Czech Republic

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