France to give Ukraine armoured vehicles, strengthen air defence, Macron pledges

15.05.2023, 07:34
France to give Ukraine armoured vehicles, strengthen air defence, Macron pledges - Photo
Presidents of Ukraine and France, Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Emmanuel Macron. Photo via EPA

France will provide Ukraine with "dozens" of armoured capabilities, including AMX-10RC wheeled tank destroyers, and train several battalions of Ukrainian troops, its president has said.

Speaking with Ukraine’s leader, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, during his unannounced visit to Paris, Emmanuel Macron announced France was preparing new military capabilities tailored to Ukraine's needs, French TV channel BFM TV reports.

This includes training and equipping several Ukrainian battalions with dozens of armoured vehicles and AMX-10RC ‘wheeled guns’, sometimes called ‘light tanks’.

"The military support that France has provided since the beginning of the war to enable Ukraine to defend itself continues, and new supplies are being prepared to meet Ukraine's most urgent needs," Mr Macron was quoted as saying.

Paris is also focused on supporting Ukraine's air defence capabilities, the French president added.

He said more pressure on Russia through new sanctions was needed to undercut its ability to wage the war against Ukraine.

Mr Zelenskyy’s visit to France followed negotiations in Rome and Berlin as Ukraine prepares for an upcoming counteroffensive to retake as much Russian-occupied territory as possible.

Kyiv has recently struck a sobering note in insisting that the planned operation should not be considered a final one bringing an end to the war, something echoed in Western capitals as well.

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