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Politico: Biden against Macron's proposal to send military trainers to Ukraine

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk June 7, 2024 2:44 PM 2 min read
France's President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. President Joe Biden speak at the International commemorative ceremony at Omaha Beach marking the 80th anniversary of the World War II "D-Day" Allied landings in Normandy, in Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, in northwestern France, on June 6, 2024. (Miguel Medina/AFP via Getty Images)
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U.S. President Joe Biden "expressed concern" to French President Emmanuel Macron about his proposal to send Western military trainers to Ukraine, Politico reported on June 6.

News emerged at the end of May that France could soon send its military trainers to Ukraine, after Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi said that he had already signed documents "that will allow the first French instructors to visit training centers soon."

France is yet to officially confirm the plans, with the French Defense Ministry telling Reuters on May 27 that the topic is still being discussed.

Citing "two people familiar with the conversation," Politico said that Biden and Macron spoke about the proposal on a recent phone call.

"Biden was not supportive" and expressed "concern about the potential consequences of sending troops from any NATO country into a place where they could wind up in the line of fire and lead to an escalation of the conflict," Politico said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on June 4 that the presence of French military instructors in Ukraine would be deemed a "legitimate target" for Russia's Armed Forces.

The call ended without Biden and Macron resolving the matter, according to Politico.

Politico reported that another point of disagreement between the two leaders is Washington's proposal to provide Kyiv with a $50 billion loan that would be repaid by profits from frozen Russian assets.

The plan is contingent on the EU agreeing to extend sanctions against Russia until it ends the war, the Financial Times reported on June 5. Currently, EU sanctions against Russia require an extension every six months, unless renewed by unanimous consent.

"Macron is the key remaining holdout among Group of Seven (G7) leaders" on the plan, Politico said, citing two Biden administration officials.

Despite their disagreements, Politico said that the relationship between Biden and Macron is "solid."

France to transfer Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets to Ukraine, Macron announces
Speaking to French TV after the end of the 80th anniversary of D-Day commemorations in Normandy, the French president also said his country would train Ukrainian pilots.
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