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Ukraine, France strengthen air defense cooperation

by Abbey Fenbert December 29, 2023 1:45 AM 1 min read
A protester holds Ukrainian and French flags in his hand during a demonstration in front of the Russian consulate in Marseille, Feb. 25, 2023. (Gerard Bottino/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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Officials from Ukraine's Defense Ministry and from the French Senate met in Berlin for the inaugural session of the Coalition for Integrated Ukrainian Air and Missile Defense, the Defense Ministry announced in a press release Dec. 28.

The meeting was chaired by France and Germany, and the Ukrainian delegation was led by Deputy Defense Minister Ivan Havryliuk.

Havryliuk said that he expects the coalition's work to result in additional air defense supplies to help Ukraine modernize its current capacities.

"We need additional anti-aircraft guided missiles and radar reconnaissance equipment, primarily to detect and destroy enemy ballistic missiles," he said.

Havryliuk thanked the French delegates for their participation in the coalition. He also said Ukraine hopes to train more pilots in France, and to increase training for technical and support personnel who maintain Western aircraft.

President Volodymyr Zelensky announced in September 2023 that France had joined the international coalition to trade Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets. France has also pledged to host an "artillery coalition" in January 2024 to help Ukraine acquire ammunition and artillery systems.

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