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12 Feb, 2024 03:13

Macron scraps Ukraine visit due to ‘security issues’ – media

The French president earlier promised to finalize a security deal with Kiev
Macron scraps Ukraine visit due to ‘security issues’ – media

French President Emmanuel Macron has postponed his planned visit to Ukraine due to security concerns, the French magazine Challenges reported on Sunday.

According to the report, the trip was scheduled for February 13-14. Macron was expected to visit Odessa – Ukraine’s largest Black Sea port – and later arrive in Kiev. The French government has not commented on the reported delay.

The exact dates of foreign leaders’ trips to Ukraine are typically not revealed in advance.

Macron last visited Kiev in June 2022, four months after Russia launched its military operation. The new French foreign minister, Stephane Sejourne, made a visit to the Ukrainian capital in January, where he met with President Vladimir Zelensky and promised more support.

Macron announced last month that France would provide 40 additional SALP-EG air-launched cruise missiles and “hundreds of bombs.” He said he would “finalize” the bilateral security agreement during an upcoming trip Ukraine.

A similar pact that Kiev previously signed with London stipulates that Ukraine will receive “swift and sustained security assistance, modern military equipment across all domains” in the event of a Russian attack in the future.

Russia summoned the French ambassador in January, protesting over “the dozens of Frenchmen” fighting in the Ukrainian army. The French Foreign Ministry has denied Moscow’s claim that it had deployed “mercenaries in Ukraine.” At the same time, Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu said Paris cannot stop “French civilians” from traveling to Ukraine and joining the fight on Kiev’s side.

In early February, France summoned the Russian ambassador over the deaths of two French aid workers in an airstrike in Ukraine.