Macron warns impossible to send Ukraine jets in coming weeks

Even if Ukraine’s European partners decide to deploy Kyiv fighter jets, French President Emmanuel Macron issued a warning on Friday that they might not be sent in the “coming weeks.”

“I’m not ruling anything out … but that doesn’t correspond to today’s requirements,” Macron said after an EU summit in Brussels attended by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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Zelensky traveled to London, Paris, and Brussels this week in search of more sophisticated weapons for his forces as Russia has recommenced its push in the conflict-torn east of Ukraine.

Although Ukraine has a wish list of western combat jets, long-range missiles, and heavy tanks, there are severe shortages of more fundamental supplies like artillery ammunition.

While Poland and Slovakia are considering supplying more of the Soviet-designed Mig-29 fighters that Kyiv already employs, Britain has volunteered to train Ukrainian pilots on Western aircraft.

However, Ukraine’s allies worry that sending in cutting-edge Western fighter jets could lead to a further escalation by Moscow and raise the possibility of an outright clash between NATO and Russia.

Zelensky was praised as a hero by Macron and the other EU leaders in Brussels, who also vowed to support Ukraine till triumph. However, they expressed caution regarding his request for fighter jets.

“It is essential the allies favour the most useful equipment” and “the fastest”, Macron argued, citing the Caesar guns and the MAMBA medium-range surface-to-air defence system supplied by the France.

It may be necessary to step up delivery of artillery pieces and munitions to allow Ukraine to launch or resist ground offensives, he added, promising to “work on it in the coming days”.

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