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17 Feb, 2024 02:35

Macron and Zelensky sign military deal

The ten-year pact mirrors defense agreements Kiev recently signed with Berlin and London
Macron and Zelensky sign military deal

France and Ukraine signed a bilateral security pact on Friday during President Vladimir Zelensky’s visit to Paris. While President Emmanuel Macron did not offer Kiev any ironclad military commitments, he promised another €3 billion in aid over the rest of 2024, as well as “cooperation” in the area of artillery.

The agreement states that France views the prospect of Ukraine’s accession to NATO positively, as “a useful contribution to peace and stability in Europe.” The largely symbolic deal is designed to help “pave the way towards Ukraine’s future integration into the EU and NATO,” French media noted, citing officials.

The pact follows a similar agreement struck with Germany earlier in the day, and another signed with the UK last month. All three are set to last ten years.

Last month, Macron announced that France would supply Kiev with 40 more SCALP-EG long-range cruise missiles and “hundreds of bombs,” promising to finalize the bilateral security agreement on an upcoming trip to Kiev. The trip, which was to run from February 13-14, was called off by the French side due to security concerns, according to French media.

Zelensky is set to ask Western sponsors for more financing at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, while the situation on the front lines of the Ukraine-Russia conflict is escalating, with Kiev facing severe personnel and ammo shortages.

Moscow has condemned Western deliveries of long-range weaponry such as French SCALP-EG cruise missiles, which Kiev has used to strike Russian infrastructure in Donbass, causing numerous civilian deaths. Russia maintains that further military aid to Kiev will only delay the end of the conflict without changing the final outcome, and lead to unnecessary deaths.

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