Czech President Milos Zeman has granted 103 citizens of his country a special exemption, allowing them to join the Ukrainian military, his office reported on Wednesday. Some 400 volunteers had applied for a waiver with the goal of fighting for Ukraine against Russia, according to official figures.
Prague requires special permission signed by the president and the prime minister to serve in a foreign military force. Otherwise, they face prosecution at home and potentially a five-year prison term. According to local media, some Czech citizens are already fighting in Ukraine.
The exceptions from criminal liability signed by the president this week were part of an agreement reached with Prime Minister Petr Fiala in March. At the time, Zeman argued against giving permission to volunteers to join Ukrainian forces. Commenting on the waivers on Wednesday, his spokesman said the president favored all forms of support of Ukraine.