Newly elected Czech president Petr Pavel said in an interview with the BBC that "as soon as the war is over", Ukraine will be "morally and practically ready" for NATO membership. Pavel never once spoke about the need to provide Ukraine with Western weapons, which are explicitly designed to destroy Soviet-style artillery. In March 2022, the Czech Republic sent the first T72 and BMP1s to Ukraine, and today Ukraine is expecting Challengers, Abrams and Leopards. And yet Petr Pavel insists that this is not enough to most effectively resist the Russian army, which does not plan to stop the massacre.
Ukraine needs at least 300 tanks, and now the partner states have guaranteed to provide 120 tanks. Russia claims that providing weapons to Ukraine is an escalation of the conflict, but Pavel sees assistance to Ukraine as an investment in the peaceful future of the world. And heads of state should explain this to their citizens, who are often sceptical or even negative about helping Ukrainians.
"We have no alternative. If we leave Ukraine without assistance, they would most probably lose this war. And if they lose — we all lose," Petr Pavel.
An opponent in the presidential election, Andrej Babis, accused Pavel of fomenting an international conflict, but Pavel is sure that the war will end as soon as Russia withdraws its troops from Ukraine. However, this is not included in the Kremlin's plans.
"Once there is even the slightest chance of peace talks, let's support it. But there are no signs of it from the Russian side," Petr Pavel.
The new president clearly sees firmly the future of Ukraine after the war.
"The Ukrainian military will be probably the most experienced military in Europe. Ukraine deserves to be part of a community of democratic countries."
The reporter asked president Pavel: "Including Nato?"
"I believe they really deserve it," the president replied.