Ukraine signs deal with France to supply weapons to Kiev
The deal is meant to assist Ukraine's forces in pursuing its conflict against Russia and set an initial aid amount of €100 million.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on Thursday he signed an agreement over security and defense grants with the French minister of the armies, Sebastien Lecornu, at the sixth Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting in Brussels today.
The deal is meant to assist Ukraine's forces in boosting its military capabilities against Russia and set an initial aid amount of €100 million.
Earlier today, Reznikov published a tweet in which he stated "By the authorization of [Ukraine’s government] signed the Agreement on the [French] grants in security&defence sector with @SebLecornu. The agreement enables supplies of [French] weapons to [Ukraine] according to the initiative of Presidents [Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and French President Emmanuel Macron]. Thank you to [France] for supporting #UAarmy."
Prior to the meeting, Lecornu published a tweet in which he expressed Paris' commitment to continue supplying military equipment, fuel, and ammunition to Kiev.
"I attended the Contact Group on the defense of Ukraine in order to exchange with our partners on the support to be provided to them," the tweet says. "We are determined to continue delivering equipment and training Ukrainians over the long term. Ukraine can count on France."
Following the meeting, Lecornu said in another tweet "I signed in Brussels with @oleksiireznikov an agreement creating the special support fund for Ukraine, initially endowed with €100 million. This is a new aspect of France's lasting military support for Ukraine, in the face of Russian aggression."
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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during the meeting that member states all agree to continue to support Ukraine and supply Kiev with more air defense systems.
This is peculiar because, in September, NATO rebuffed Ukraine's request for ascension into the alliance.
NATO did not take part in the war in Ukraine as it feared unleashing a confrontation with Russia that could spiral into nuclear war. Instead, the NATO allies have sent billions of dollars worth of weapons to Kiev.
On September 30, Stoltenberg remained non-committal on the bid, saying, "Our focus now is on providing immediate support to Ukraine to help Ukraine defend itself against the Russian brutal invasion."
The €100 million fund was announced six days ago by French President Emmanuel Macron after a summit in Prague during which he said "We are setting up this special, dedicated fund initially with €100 million to allow the acquisition of equipment that we have already delivered and that we will continue to do so in terms of weapons, meaning defensive ones."
He added that discussions were being held with Denmark to deliver more CAESAR truck-mounted cannons to Ukraine.
Paris has already provided Ukraine with 18 self-propelled 155-mm caliber artillery units CAESAR from the army's reserves and is planning to send air defense radars, systems, and missiles to Ukraine.
In September, French media reported that France would also supply Ukraine with self-propelled 155-mm guns TRF1, which is no longer used by the French military.