France announced that it will equip Ukrainian battalions with armored vehicles and light tanks

Ukrainian servicemen ride on a tank on a road to the city of Bakhmut, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, May 12, 2023. REUTERS/Sofiia Gatilova (STRINGER/)

France to train and equip Ukrainian battalions with “dozens” of armored vehicles and light tanksBoth countries announced after a dinner between Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Volodimir Zelensky at the Elysée Palace.

“In the coming weeks, France will train and equip several battalions with dozens of armored vehicles and light tanks, including AMX-10RCs,” they said in a joint statement. He added that Paris is also focusing its “efforts on supporting Ukraine’s air defense capabilities.”

Paris would also focus its efforts “on support Ukraine’s air defense capabilities to defend its population from Russian attacks.”

“Ukraine and France agree on the need to increase collective pressure on Russia through more sanctions to weaken Russia’s ability to continue its illegal war of aggression,” the statement added.

His announcement came after Zelensky flew to France on Sunday night and joined Macron for a dinner at the Elysee Palace.

French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, May 14, 2023. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/Pool
French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, May 14, 2023. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/Pool (CHRISTIAN HARTMANN/)

“Paris. With each visit, defensive and offensive capabilities of Ukraine are expanding”Zelensky tweeted as he flew to the Villacoublay airbase.

“Ties with Europe are strengthening and the pressure on Russia is growing,” added the Ukrainian president.

Zelensky’s trip to Paris was not announced in advance and comes after European Union leaders praised the Ukrainian people in Aachen in western Germany, where the Charlemagne Prize was awarded to the head of state.

Ukraine embodies everything that the European idea represents: the value of convictions, the struggle for values ​​and freedom, the commitment to peace and unity.declared the head of the European Commission, the executive arm of the bloc, Ursula von der Leyen.

The German head of government, Olaf Scholz, assured that Ukraine is part of “our European family”.

Scholz accompanied the Ukrainian president to this city after a meeting in Berlin, the capital. It was Zelensky’s first visit to Germany since the start of the conflict.

Berlin announced a major military aid package to Ukraine worth some $2.9 billion on Saturday.

The new package includes dozens of tanks, armored vehicles, surveillance drones and four new Iris-T air defense systems.

Scholz assured that Berlin would support Ukraine for “as long as it takes”, and indicated that its commitment to kyiv, including weapons, already amounts to USD 18.4 billion.

“During the most difficult time in the modern history of Ukraine, Germany proved to be our true friend and our reliable ally”Zelensky thanked in the guest book of the German presidency.

(With information from AFP)

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