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Czech Foreign Minister Calls for NATO Shift in Approach to Russia, Urges Stronger Support for Ukraine

Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky, who is taking part at a NATO ministerial meeting in Prague, outlined a series of measures the Alliance should undertake in its dealings with the Kremlin.

Addressing a discussion in the Czech Senate ahead of the ministerial meeting, Lipavsky emphasized the need for NATO to adopt a new strategic approach towards Russia.

"There are several steps that need to be taken. So, first of all, we need to stop the Western rhetoric of fear of escalation. After all, it was Russia, not us, that crossed all the "red lines" and does not stop at anything. And after the new inauguration, Putin feels even more powerful," Lipavsky explained.

He urged allies to abandon a cautious approach and endorse a more robust strategy to counter Russian aggression, advocating for the lifting of all restrictions on the use of Western weaponry against Russia.

"Ukraine should not fight with one hand tied behind its back. Ukraine must have the right to resist the barbaric Russian invasion even on Russian territory," he explained.

Furthermore, Lipavsky underscored the necessity for political resolve to be matched by technical capabilities, urging Western defense industries to ramp up production efforts.

"We need to remove the financial and banking obstacles that hinder the acceleration of the war economy. We must help Ukraine defend itself," he explained.

Another task of the West is to strengthen its ability to resist hybrid warfare and economic resilience. "And finally, if Russia has switched to a war economy, we must do the same. The indicator of 2% of GDP for defense spending made sense in peacetime, now it must increase," he explained.

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