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Macron says 'door open' to train Ukrainian pilots on fighter jets

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 15, 2023 11:11 PM 2 min read
Emmanuel Macron, France's president, left, greets Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Ukraine's president, ahead of a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, late on May 14, 2023. Photographer: Benjamin Girette/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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France has "opened the door" for training Ukrainian pilots on fighter jets, French President Emmanuel Macron said in an interview on May 15, as cited by Le Monde.

The training "can start now," Macron told the TF1 broadcaster, adding that it may be held with "several other European countries who are also ready."

"I think discussions are underway with the Americans," he added, without elaborating on any other details.

The Ukrainian government has repeatedly appealed to Western allies to provide modern fighter jets, arguing that air supremacy is necessary to aid its soldiers on the battlefield. However, the West has been reluctant to transfer aircraft to Ukraine amid fears of escalating tensions with Russia.

The U.K. also promised to train Ukrainian pilots this summer, though excluding plans to send the jets for now.

Macron also said that France would provide Ukraine with additional ammunition on top of instructing and equipping several Ukrainian battalions with dozens of armored vehicles and light tanks, which was announced a day before.

President Volodymyr Zelensky met with Macron in Paris on May 14 as part of his brief European tour. The presidents discussed military support for Ukraine, cooperation on war crimes prosecution, and sanctions against Russia.

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