France promised Ukraine dozens more light tanks and armored vehicles on Monday, after President Emmanuel Macron met Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in Paris, as Kyiv prepares for a widely anticipated counter-offensive.
Following stops in Rome and Germany, Zelensky met with Macron at the Elysee Palace on Sunday night, where the two discussed increasing military assistance.
“In the coming weeks, France will train and equip several battalions with tens of armored vehicles and light tanks including AMX-10RC,” they said in a joint statement afterwards.
They also called for fresh sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine “to weaken Russia’s ability to continue its illegal war of aggression.”
Following months of deadlock, Ukraine has been preparing to recover territory taken by Russia, stockpiling Western-supplied weaponry and bolstering support on a diplomatic trip.
Zelensky arrived in Paris just hours after European Union officials in Germany awarded him a trophy for fighting for the bloc’s freedom and ideals on behalf of the Ukrainian people.
France promises Zelensky weapons after EU honours Ukraine fight ‘for Europe’
PARIS, May 15, 2023 (BSS/AFP) – France on Monday promised Ukraine dozens more light tanks and armoured vehicles after President Emmanuel Macron met Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in Paris as Kyiv readies for a widely expected counter-offensive.
Fresh off stops in Rome and then Germany, Zelensky dined with Macron at the Elysee Palace on Sunday night, where the pair discussed boosting military aid.
After months of stalemate, Ukraine has been preparing to retake ground captured by Russia and has been stockpiling Western-supplied munitions and shoring up support on a diplomatic tour.
Zelensky’s arrival in Paris came hours after European Union leaders in Germany presented him with a prize for the Ukrainian people for fighting for the bloc’s freedom and values.
“Ukraine incarnates everything the European idea is living for: the courage of convictions, the fight for values and freedom, the commitment to peace and unity,” said EU chief Ursula von der Leyen at the Charlemagne award ceremony in Aachen.
For German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Russia’s war on its neighbour had “cemented one clear realisation: Ukraine is part of our European family”.
Upon arriving at the Villacoublay airbase southwest of Paris on Sunday, Zelensky tweeted: “Ties with Europe are getting stronger, and the pressure on Russia is growing.”
“Paris. With each visit, Ukraine’s defense and offensive capabilities are expanding.”