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French President Macron promises Ukraine Mirage fighter jets

French President Macron promises Ukraine Mirage fighter jets

One day before French President Macron receives his Ukrainian counterpart Zelenskyj in Paris, he promises his guest Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets. The delivery will help the Ukrainians “protect their territory and their airspace”.

French President Emmanuel Macron has promised Ukraine Mirage fighter jets. In a television interview in Caen on Thursday evening, Macron did not initially say how many Mirage 2000-5 jets France would give to the country attacked by Russia. A coalition with partners is being formed.

“They will enable Ukraine to protect its territory and its airspace,” Macron told the broadcasters TF1 and France 2. Ukrainian pilots are to be trained in France by the end of the year to fly Mirage fighter jets. The French head of state also announced that he wants to train Ukrainian pilots from the summer. A brigade of 4,500 Ukrainian soldiers is also to be trained.

When asked whether France would send military trainers to Ukraine, Macron gave an evasive answer. Ukraine is asking for training in its country and this would not represent an escalation. “We are working with all our partners and will decide on the basis of a collective decision at this moment as a coalition.” At the same time, Macron made it clear that it was not about training in the combat zone.

Macron welcomes Selenskyj at the Élysée Palace in Paris

Macron announced last week that he would comment on the question of a possible deployment of French military trainers to Ukraine during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to France. He said he would “speak very precisely at that time to announce what we are going to do.”

On Friday afternoon, Macron will receive Zelenskyj at the Élysée Palace in Paris. Zelenskyj will also meet with French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu. Several contracts are to be signed.

France plans to pledge 650 million euros in loans and donations to support the reconstruction of Ukraine’s infrastructure. The German-French arms company KNDS also plans to set up a branch in Ukraine.

The Mirage fighter jets are getting old; they are to be gradually replaced by the newer Rafale jets. Production of the Mirage began in the early 1980s, and various versions of the aircraft followed. The Mirage 2000-5, of which aircraft are now to be delivered to Ukraine, was considered one of the best multi-role combat aircraft of the 1990s.

Source: Stern

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