Czech PM suggests EU countries could grant asylum to Russian deserters

“We talked about some very concrete steps, for example, that in terms of long-term development, a coalition of states could be formed, not only from the EU, but perhaps also from NATO states, which would provide asylum to soldiers of the Russian Federation who decide not to fight and desert,” the Czech PM said after he returned from Kyiv.   [EPA-EFE/MARTIN DIVISEK]

EU countries should take care of Russian soldiers who are not willing to fight anymore, said Prime Minister Petr Fiala who, after he visited Kyiv, presented several ideas on how the EU could further support Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion.

“We talked about some very concrete steps, for example, that in terms of long-term development, a coalition of states could be formed, not only from the EU, but perhaps also from NATO states, which would provide asylum to soldiers of the Russian Federation who decide not to fight and desert,” the Czech PM said after he returned from Kyiv.

Fiala also said that EU countries should also provide Ukraine with more weapons like anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles. While he admitted establishing a no-fly zone over Ukraine was not possible, he said this could be achieved by Ukrainians themselves if provided with appropriate weapons. The Czech PM also noted that he would deliver Ukrainian requests for help to other European countries as soon as possible.

Fiala added that the EU should restore its diplomatic representation in Kyiv, as most EU diplomats have left Ukraine recently due to security concerns.

The Czech PM visited Kyiv on Tuesday (15 March) with his Polish and Slovenian counterparts after Slovenia’s Prime Minister Janez Janša first suggested the idea.

The main goal of the visit was to express complete solidarity with the Ukrainian people. According to the three European leaders, the EU should immediately grant candidate status to Ukraine and step up its armament.

(Aneta Zachová | EURACTIV.cz)

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