France clears deck for Mirage supply to Ukraine


Paris: France will supply Mirage fighter jets to Ukraine and train its soldiers, French President Emmanuel Macron said in an interview with French media.

“We will start a new cooperation and send Mirage 2000-5s,” Macron said on Thursday evening. The French leader also promised to train an entire Ukrainian battalion of 4,500 soldiers, which is to be deployed to the battlefield, Xinhua news agency reported.

He said the delivery of French fighter jets “will not escalate tensions” and promised “they will not be used to bomb civilians”. Additionally, Macron did not rule out the possibility of sending military trainers to Ukraine.

The Mirage 2000 is a French multi-purpose, single-engine fourth-generation fighter aircraft built by Dassault Aviation.

During a meeting in Paris in late February, Macron suggested that European countries should send troops to Ukraine. But several other European countries, including Germany, Britain, Spain and Italy, did not agree with his opinion.

Following Macron’s comments in February, Russia warned that a direct conflict between the organisation and Russia could begin if NATO sends troops to Ukraine.

Earlier , Macron presided over a ceremony at Omaha Beach in Normandy in northern France to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

According to a live broadcast by French media BFMTV, about 20 heads of state, including US President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, attended the event.

On his way to France for the ceremony, US National Security Adviser (NSA) Jake Sullivan told reporters that the US would stick to its policy of not sending military advisers to Ukraine.

The Normandy landings on June 6, 1944 on the French coast proved to be a turning point in World War II and paved the way for the ‘Allied’ victory against Nazi Germany.


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