Following the UK’s announcement of supplying Storm Shadow missiles, French President Macron has hinted that France will deliver long-range missiles to Ukraine, although making the caveat that “France is not at war with Russia” and therefore does not supply weapons “that could be used to reach Russian soil or attack Russia directly.”
Speaking on the air of TF1, he said that France is here to help Ukraine resist and that the success of Ukraine’s counteroffensive is crucial for achieving lasting peace. However, he made the caveat that French materiel cannot be used to attack Russia proper:
“It’s important to note that we’re not at war with Russia. We are assisting Ukraine in resisting Russian aggression. This means that we do not deliver weapons that could be used to reach Russian soil or attack Russia directly,” Macron stated, adding that France can no longer deliver some weapons necessary for protecting France itself.
France continues to move forward within these limits and assist Ukraine in resisting by delivering effective equipment like Caesar howitzers and light tanks. “In addition to that, we will deliver other equipment, ammunition, and missiles with a range that allows Ukraine to resist and carry out the counteroffensive,” Macron said, clarifying that he was not speaking about jets, but about “missiles and training.” He did not provide further details on the type of missiles that Ukraine might get.
As well, he mentioned that Ukrainian pilots are being trained in France, along with several other European countries, and “discussions are underway with the Americans as well.” Training on French aircraft, such as the Mirage 2000, can begin immediately. This training needs to start now, Macron said, as “this is an agreement with several European countries.”
Macron’s interview followed a joint declaration of Ukraine and France following the meeting between Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Emmanuel Macron, which stated, among other things, that Paris intended to equip several Ukrainian battalions with dozens of armored vehicles and light tanks, including the AMX-10RC.
Ukraine’s leadership has been pressing for the country to receive long-range striking capabilities, which are seen as essential in ensuring the success of its offensive.