Czechia paid five times more for energy imports from Russia than it spent on aid to Ukraine

Czechia paid five times more for energy imports from Russia than it spent on aid to Ukraine
A pro-Ukraine sculpture placed outside the Russian embassy in Prague. / Robert Anderson/bne IntelliNews
By Albin Sybera April 17, 2024

Czechia paid more than CZK270bn (€10.7bn) for gas and oil imports from Russia from the start of the full-scale invasion Russia launched against Ukraine to the end of last year.

At the same time, Czechia provided Ukraine with aid worth about CZK57bn from the start of the invasion in February 2022 until the end of March of this year, Czech Television’s investigative programme Reporteri CT (CT) reported, quoting figures from Czech ministries.

“This much money sent to Putin regime is a lot, it is some €11bn with which we supplied this regime,” economist Jana Matesova, who is a former Czech representative at the World Bank, was quoted as saying by CT.

CT also referred to the analyses from German and Ukrainian media according to which the amount of money Czechia spent on Russian energy imports in this period can finance over three weeks of Russian fighting in Ukraine.

Czech officials surveyed by the CT pointed out that Unipetrol, a subsidiary of Polish PKN Orlen, brings oil into Czechia.

“We don’t buy any oil as a state. The entity is Polish; we don’t have any control over it,” the Czech government’s energy envoy, Vaclav Bratuska, told CT.  

Czech state oil company Mero is carrying out investment projects into IKL and TAL pipelines, which connect Czechia to Italian Trieste via Germany, and which should free Czechia from dependency on Russian oil flowing from the Druzhba [Friendship] pipeline by mid-2025.       

Czechia has dramatically reduced its dependence on Russian gas but in some recent months imports of Russian liquid natural gas (LNG) have ticked up because it has been cheaper than other sources. In December Russian gas made up 58% of gas imports.