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Czech Republic issues no licenses on weapons export to Ukraine — official

February 20, 2015, 16:27 UTC+3 PRAGUE
The Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade has commented on February 18 reports saying Czech companies sold weapons to the Kiev authorities
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Ukrainian soldiers in eastern Ukraine

Ukrainian soldiers in eastern Ukraine

© Evgeniy Maloletka

PRAGUE, February 20. /TASS/. The Czech Republic has confirmed that it observes the norms of international law in arms trade and supports the practice of restricting or banning arms exports to conflict zones, a Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade representative told TASS on Friday.

On February 18, Czech television reported that Prague supplies arms to Ukraine. It said that several arms companies with governmental licenses sold weapons to the Kiev authorities.

However, only the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade has the authority to issue export licenses.

"The Czech Republic decisively restricts its [arms] export policy in relation to Ukraine. This is the joint position of the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Foreign Ministry," the representative stressed. "It is reflected in the process of issuing licenses on military materials export," he added.

In 2013, Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade issued $5 million of licenses on exporting military materials to Ukraine. At the beginning of 2014, before a military conflict broke out in Donbass, the ministry issued licenses for $390,000.

"We are talking about military material, not about weapons," the representative said. "After the crisis broke out [in the south-east of Ukraine] such licenses were not issued any more," he concluded.

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