Ukraine gets more French military equipment and training After a surprise trip to Paris, Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy secures more armoured vehicles and light tanks from France, along with air defence support and sanctions threat against Russia.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made an unexpected visit to France on Sunday night to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron for a working dinner at the Elysee Palace in Paris.
The two leaders discussed the security situation in Ukraine and agreed on several measures to boost Ukraine’s military capabilities and deter Russian aggression.
According to a joint statement on Monday, France will train and equip several Ukrainian battalions with dozens of armoured vehicles and light tanks, including AMX-10RC. France will also help Ukraine improve its air defence systems to protect its population from Russian attacks.
The statement also warned that Ukraine and France will increase their collective pressure on Russia through more sanctions to weaken its ability to wage an illegal war.
Zelenskyy’s visit to Paris was part of his weekend tour of key European allies to seek military and financial support ahead of a possible major Ukrainian offensive against Russian forces.
On Sunday, he secured a new $3bn military package from Germany and said in Berlin that Kyiv and its allies could make Russia’s defeat “irreversible” this year.
In Paris, Macron reiterated that France will continue to provide political, financial, humanitarian and military support to Ukraine as long as needed, the statement said.
A source at the French presidency told reporters that France will offer more modern defence systems to Ukraine.
“Paris. With each visit, Ukraine’s defence and offensive capabilities are expanding,” Zelenskyy tweeted as he arrived at the Villacoublay airbase on Sunday.
“The ties with Europe are getting stronger, and the pressure on Russia is growing.”
The French AMX-10RCs vehicles are fast and agile, allowing them to move quickly on the battlefield and change positions.
Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov described them as a “sniper rifle on … fast wheels.”