France Joins UK in Supplying Missiles to Ukraine for Counteroffensive

France confirms new missile supply to Ukraine and offers to train pilots.
Ukraine flag

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Following the United Kingdom’s recent deployment of long-range weapons, French President Emmanuel Macron has confirmed that France will also provide new munitions to Ukraine. This move comes just days after the UK’s Storm Shadow missiles were used with devastating effect against Russian forces behind the front line.

France has previously supplied Ukraine with Caesar self-propelled howitzers, Milan anti-tank missiles, Mistral anti-aircraft missiles, and AMX-10 RC light armored vehicles. However, like the United States, France had refrained from providing longer-range missiles that could enable Ukraine to strike deep into Russian territory.

In a statement on Monday, President Macron announced that France would be sending additional armored vehicles, along with new munitions and missiles that possess the necessary range for Ukraine to resist and launch a forthcoming counteroffensive. Although he did not disclose specific details about the missiles, Macron emphasized that they would not have the capability to reach Russia, stating that limits needed to be imposed.

Analysts speculate that France may be seeking assurances from Ukraine that longer-range missiles will not be utilized to target Russian soil. By supplying precision-guided weapons, such as the Storm Shadow missiles used by the UK, Ukraine would be able to push back Russian forces within its sovereign territory effectively.

In addition to the munitions, Macron expressed France’s willingness to train Ukrainian fighter jet pilots. While he clarified that the topic of delivering warplanes had not been discussed during his recent meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Macron affirmed that training programs for Ukrainian pilots could commence immediately. He also mentioned that France was collaborating with other European countries and engaging in discussions with the United States regarding pilot training.

Ukraine’s recent deployment of Storm Shadow missiles resulted in successful strikes on a Russian supply depot and a military command center located 80 miles behind the front line. These missile attacks coincided with Ukrainian counteroffensives against Russian positions near Bakhmut. Local media reported the destruction of a factory used for military equipment storage and a government building employed for planning Russian attacks in Luhansk City as a result of Storm Shadow missile strikes. Russia’s defense ministry confirmed the attacks but alleged that residential buildings had been hit.

France’s decision to supply additional munitions and missiles to Ukraine reflects its commitment to assisting Ukraine in its resistance efforts and encouraging all parties to engage in diplomatic negotiations. By providing the means to counter Russian aggression, France aims to support Ukraine’s pursuit of stability and security.

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