Paris to train and equip ‘French brigade’ of Ukrainian soldiers - Macron

Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Emmanuel Macron
Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron wants to form a "French brigade" in Ukraine to train and equip 4,500 Ukrainian soldiers “to defend their land,” Le Figaro reported on June 6.

But there are currently no plans to deploy French soldiers to Ukraine.

"The Ukrainian president [Volodymyr Zelenskyy] and the Defense Minister [Rustem Umerov] have called on all allies to speed up the training of soldiers. We have to ask ourselves whether this is a factor for escalation. The answer is no," he said.

On the same day, on June 6, Macron promised to send some Mirage 2000 fighter jets to Ukraine and train pilots to fly them “by the end of the year,” as part of a step-up in aid to help Kyiv resist Russian aggression.

The Mirage is a multi-role fighter jet which first entered service in the 1970s. The most modern version, the 2000-5, is equipped with advanced radar, but has been largely replaced in the French Air Forces by the more advanced Rafale.

After a conference on supporting Ukraine held in Paris on Feb. 26, Macron said Ukraine's Western allies would create a coalition to provide the Ukrainian Armed Forces with long-range weapons and that sending Western troops to Ukraine in the future should not be ruled out.

In response to Macron's statements, Poland, the United States, Germany, Czechia, Canada, and the United Kingdom rejected the idea.

France is prepared to send instructors to train Ukrainian military personnel, Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief General Oleksandr Syrskyi said on May 27, after a conversation with French Armed Forces Minister Sébastien Lecornu.

Discussions about French instructors are ongoing, and Ukraine is currently preparing documents to expedite the process once a decision is made, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry later clarified.

Le Monde reported on May 30 that Macron wants to create a European coalition of military instructors to train Ukrainian troops.

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said on May 30 that Germany will not be joining France in sending military instructors to Ukraine to train soldiers.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine