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French parliament supports bilateral security agreement with Ukraine

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 12, 2024 11:22 PM 2 min read
France's Prime Minister Gabriel Attal speaks during a debate on Ukraine at the National Assembly in Paris on March 12, 2024. (Thomas Samson/AFP via Getty Images)
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The French National Assembly voted on March 12 in support of the bilateral security agreement signed by French President Emmanuel Macron and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in February.

The agreement, signed at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Feb. 16, was the third time a bilateral security agreement based on commitments made by G7 countries had been signed, after Ukraine signed agreements with the U.K. and Germany.  

Ukraine has since signed similar agreements with Denmark, Italy, and Canada.

The 10-year security agreement includes French commitments to deliver more munitions and provide up to 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) in military aid to Ukraine in 2024.

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal warned that "we are at a tipping point" in the war, and that there were "real, tangible dangers" for France if Russia emerges victorious.

The vote marked the first time the National Assembly had convened to vote on the Russian invasion of Ukraine since it began in February 2022.

In total, 372 lawmakers voted in favor of the deal, 99 were against, and 106 abstained or were absent. The far-left France Unbowed party voted against the agreement, while the far-right National Rally party abstained.

Benjamin Haddad, a spokesperson for the pro-Macron Renaissance party, told Politico that the vote confirmed the far-right and far-left parties' "alignment with the Kremlin’s positions."

The French Defense Ministry released a list of aid donated to Ukraine since Feb. 24, 2022, and announced that France has committed more than 3.8 billion euros ($4.1 billion) in security assistance to Ukraine.

Although France has committed a comparably smaller portion of its GDP than countries like Germany or Poland, Macron has recently called for more decisive steps to support Ukraine, even not ruling out sending troops.

Zelensky: As long as Ukraine holds, French army can stay in France
Zelensky was addressing French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent comments that sending Western troops into Ukraine cannot be “ruled out.”
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