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Kyiv, Paris still discussing instructors' presence in Ukraine, Defense Ministry says

by Kateryna Denisova May 27, 2024 11:57 PM 2 min read
Newly trained Ukrainian artillery specialists firing British donated AS90 155mm self-propelled artillery guns under the supervision of British Army instructors as they come to the end of their training in southwest England. (Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)
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Ukraine has been discussing with France and other countries the presence of foreign instructors on the ground to train the Ukrainian soldiers since February 2024, Ukraine's Defense Ministry said on May 27.

The statement came after Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine's Armed Forces Oleksandr Syrskyi said that he had already signed documents "that will allow the first French instructors to visit training centers soon."

France's Defense Ministry told Reuters that training in Ukraine is one of the projects that is still being discussed, which was later confirmed by Kyiv.

"As of now, our discussions with France and other countries on this issue are still ongoing," Ukraine's Defense Ministry said.

The ministry and Ukraine's General Staff began "internal work" on the relevant documents "in order not to waste time on coordinating bureaucratic issues when the decision is made," the statement read.

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Some NATO member states are discussing the possibility of sending military instructors or contractors to Ukraine to train Ukrainian troops and assist with equipment repairs, the New York Times reported in mid-May.

Kyiv has asked the U.S. and other NATO countries to help train 150,000 soldiers closer to the front lines, the outlet wrote.

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said in late May that "there are countries who are training soldiers on the ground already," without naming any specific countries or provide any further details on their purported operations in Ukraine.

Estonian defense minister: No new development on idea to send troops to Ukraine
The Estonian government has held no specific discussions on sending the country’s troops to Ukraine, Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur said on May 14, according to public broadcaster ERR.
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