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Czech Republic Mulls Acquiring Australian Military Equipment

The Czech Republic is considering purchasing weapons and equipment from Australia to replenish its stockpiles sent to Ukraine.

The information was revealed following the visit to Canberra of Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský to discuss a different agenda.

Lipavský revealed that Prague has had a strong interest in Australia’s defense manufacturing capability and that his country has been wanting to replenish some of its supplies with Australian-made systems.

“And yes, that is one thing being discussed – the possible procurement of some military equipment from Australia,” Lipavský told ABC News. “But that’s a future discussion and I’m not able to comment in much detail.”

Last year, the Czech Republic made a similar push by opening the possibility of acquiring Bushmaster armored vehicles from Australia.

Replenishing Stockpiles

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Prague has reportedly sent at least 40 billion crowns ($1.7 billion) in military aid to the war-ravaged nation.

This includes four Mi-24 helicopters, over 40,000 small arms, and 4.3 million rounds of ammunition.

Czechia also sent T-72B main battle tanks and BVP-1 infantry fighting vehicles to Kyiv to strengthen its combat capabilities.

Additionally, the European nation has provided Ukraine with 45 tons of humanitarian aid.

Increased Budget

In April 2023, the Czech parliament’s lower house approved legislation to increase the country’s military spending to the level required by NATO.

At least two percent of its gross domestic product will be spent on defense starting this year — significantly higher than the 1.5 percent it previously allocated.

An extra 21.5 billion crowns ($920 million) is estimated to be needed in the 2024 central state budget to reach the NATO-mandated level of defense spending.

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