Czech Parliament Approves Extension of Training for Ukrainian Military in 2024
On November 29, during a plenary session of the Czech Parliament, deputies definitively approved the proposal to involve the forces and resources of the Ministry of Defence in foreign operations and the presence of armed forces of other states on the territory of the Czech Republic in 2023 and 2024. This proposal extends existing mandates that have undergone the approval process in recent months, as reported by the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic.
The priority of this proposal is to provide conditions for the continuation of the training of Ukrainian military personnel on the territory of the Czech Republic and beyond. The current mandate for their presence expires at the end of 2023, and the new one will extend it for a year until December 31, 2024. By the end of this year, approximately 4,000 Ukrainian military personnel will undergo training in the Czech Republic and Poland.
"The proposal maintains the current number of personnel present, namely up to 800 individuals simultaneously. The new proposal expands the number of NATO instructors for training beyond the EU mission to assist Ukraine," said Minister of Defence Jana Chernohova, adding that the number of Czech army instructors operating within EU mission boundaries will increase from the current 55 to 70.
The proposal also allows for the involvement of up to 20 military instructors in the training of Ukrainian soldiers in NATO countries outside the EU mission.
More Czech military personnel will also be able to participate in the EU mission "Althea" in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The previous mandate allowed for eight individuals, and the new one allows for 12. In the EU military operation "Irini" in the Mediterranean Sea, the personnel strength has been increased from five to 10.
The current mandate for training and advising in Niger expires on December 31 of this year. Due to the situation arising in the country after the military coup in July, the operational mission was suspended.
"The internal political situation in the country is complex, and the long-term development of events is difficult to predict. Therefore, in the document, we did not request approval for work in Niger in 2024," said Minister Chernohova. According to her, if the situation in the country improves, the Ministry of Defence will submit a separate proposal to the government and parliament.
"The financial costs associated with the presence of the armed forces of other states on the territory of the Czech Republic for the purpose of training Ukrainian military personnel in 2024 are estimated at 252 million Czech crowns," noted Jana Chernohova.
It is worth recalling that the Council of Europe has decided to allocate additional funding for the training of the Armed Forces of Ukraine within the European Union mission to provide military assistance to support Ukraine — this amount is 255 million euros.