Czech, Slovak governments increase military aid to Ukraine

PRAGUE, Feb 27 (Reuters) - The Czech government on Sunday increased military aid to Ukraine as it battles Russian troops, backing an additional package worth 400 million crowns ($18.23 million), while Slovakia also approved a second aid shipment in as many days.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Defence Minister Jana Cernochova both declined to detail the contents of the newest aid approved on Sunday due to security concerns.

But they said it was more than light weapons which were part of a shipment approved on Saturday, and Fiala said the aid would immediately help Ukraine's defences. read more

"We are in an environment where GRU (Russian military intelligence) agents can still move around," Cernochova said, explaining why officials did not provide details.

The country has so far contributed military aid worth more than 600 million crowns ($27 million), according to the Defence Ministry.

Slovakia, which shares a border with Ukraine and has taken in at least 25,000 refugees fleeing, approved a 4.4 million euro military package on Sunday, according to the government's website.

Details of the aid, which followed 11 million euros in aid that included 120mm artillery ammunition and fuel approved on Saturday, were expected after a government meeting.

The Czech Industry Ministry has also donated hundreds of tonnes of fuel.

The Czech Republic and Slovakia have both been tough in their condemnation of Russia's invasion in Ukraine.

Last year, the Czech Republic faced the biggest diplomatic dispute with Russia in its post-communist history after blaming Moscow for deadly explosions at an arms depot in 2014.

Russia has denied involvement, but the row led to the expulsion of dozens of workers at Russia's Prague embassy, which had long been considered a hotbed for spy activities.

($1 = 21.9420 Czech crowns)

Reporting by Jason Hovet and Jan Lopatka; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Alison Williams

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.