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Macron: France to finalize coalition to send military instructors to Ukraine

by Kateryna Denisova June 7, 2024 10:04 PM 3 min read
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky and France's President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on June 7, 2024. (Presidential Office)
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Editor's note: This story is being updated.

France wants to finalize a coalition of countries to send military instructors to Ukraine, French President Emmanuel Macron said on June 7 during a joint press conference with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.

Ukraine is ramping up mobilization, and it would be "more effective and practical" to train "thousands of new soldiers" on Ukrainian soil, Macron said.

"We are not at war with Russia, we do not want an escalation, but we want to do everything we can to help Ukraine resist. Is it an escalation when Ukraine asks us to train mobilized soldiers on its sovereign soil? No,” Macron said.

A number of allies have already agreed to join the Paris-led coalition, he said.

"We already know that we will not be alone, and we will use the next few days to organize a broader coalition to respond to Ukraine's request," he added.

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France is reportedly planning to initially send a limited number of personnel to assess the modalities of a mission before involving several hundred trainers, Reuters reported on May 30, citing two unnamed diplomats.

Zelensky said that Kyiv supports Macron's initiative to send instructors to Ukraine.

"This (move) simply shortens the path for training," the president added.

Paris will allocate 200 million euros ($216 million) to companies that will invest in the restoration of Ukraine's critical infrastructure, with 60 million euros ($64 million) of these funds to be devoted to the country's energy sector, according to Macron.

The French president did not specify the number of Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets that Paris will transfer to Ukraine, but announced a training program for Ukrainian pilots.

"Now the priority is to start forming (groups) of pilots and mechanics (for training). This is something that will be launched in just a few days. We are talking about technical training,” Macron said.

The two made the announcements a day after world leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden and Zelensky attended the commemoration of the D-Day landings.

In late February, Macron announced a coalition to send long-range missiles to Kyiv. He is one of the leaders who recently supported Ukraine's right to strike on military bases inside Russia with Western weapons.

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