France to Transfer Mirage-2000 Fighter Jets to Ukraine: Macron
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Paris, France — President Emmanuel Macron announced on Thursday that France will transfer Mirage-2000 fighter jets to Ukraine and provide training for Ukrainian pilots as part of an enhanced military cooperation with Kyiv amid its ongoing battle against Russian forces.

“Tomorrow we will launch a new cooperation and announce the transfer of Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets to Ukraine, made by French manufacturer Dassault, and train their Ukrainian pilots in France,” Macron revealed during an interview on French TV.

The announcement comes as Macron prepares to host Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the Elysee Palace for talks on Friday. Macron indicated that the training for Ukrainian pilots would commence this summer, to have trained pilots ready by the end of the year. “You need normally between five months. So by the end of the year, there will be pilots. The pilots will be trained in France,” he explained.

While Macron did not disclose the exact number of fighter jets to be delivered, the French defense ministry did not provide additional details when contacted by AFP.

Macron highlighted the significant challenge Ukraine faces in training soldiers as it seeks to mobilize tens of thousands more troops for the front lines. He stated that France would equip and train an entire brigade of 4,500 Ukrainian soldiers, ensuring they were prepared to defend their country upon returning from their training in France.

The announcement comes at a critical time, as Kyiv has been urging European nations to bolster their military support. In recent months, Russia has gained a tactical advantage on the battlefield, intensifying the need for additional resources and training for Ukrainian forces.

Zelensky’s visit to France coincides with the 80th anniversary of D-Day, during which he attended ceremonies and met with US President Joe Biden. This visit is seen as an opportune moment for Zelensky to secure further assistance from Western allies.

Macron noted that Ukraine has requested its Western allies to send military instructors to train Ukrainian forces on Ukrainian soil to expedite the buildup of troop numbers. “The Ukrainian president and his minister of defense asked all the allies – 48 hours ago in an official letter – saying ‘we need you to train us quicker and that you do this on our soil’,” Macron said.

There has been speculation that Macron might swiftly announce the deployment of French instructors to Ukraine following his discussions with Zelensky. However, Macron emphasized that any decisions would be made collectively with France’s allies and assured such moves would not be considered escalatory. “We are working with our partners and we will act based on a collective decision,” he stated.

This latest development underscores the ongoing commitment of France and its allies to support Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression, reinforcing the importance of international cooperation in maintaining regional security and stability.

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