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France plans to produce weapons in Ukraine, says ambassador

When will NATO help Ukraine
French self-propelled 155mm howitzers at the front in Ukraine. Credit: Snapshot from video by Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense
France plans to produce weapons in Ukraine, says ambassador

France plans to change its approach in providing military assistance for Kyiv and enhance the weapon production directly within Ukraine, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the French Republic Gaël Veyssière told Franceinfo.

“The French support will undergo a gradual change, with the objective of manufacturing more weapons in Ukraine, rather than limit assistance to donations or purchases alone. Naturally, the transition from one strategy to another requires a certain amount of time,” emphasized the ambassador.

According to Gaël Veyssière, Ukraine can rely on support from its allies and partners that continue to assist in purchasing military equipment.

When asked about the challenges in adopting aid packages for Ukraine, the ambassador responded that the West “hopes to move out of this phase.” The further aid would be discussed, particularly at the beginning of February at a meeting of the European Council, said Veyssière.

In addition, the ambassador said strikes on Kyiv and Kharkiv, which intensified in recent days, did not indicate changes in Russian tactics towards Ukraine but rather served as a reminder that the war continues.

“It also puts things into perspective and gives an understanding of who is the victim and who is the aggressor. It helps us see the true state of affairs,” Veyssière claimed. 

The ambassador also announced that the Embassy was working on organizing the sixth visit of the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna, to Ukraine, scheduled for January. At the same time, he did not deny the information about the possible meeting of French President Emmanuel Macron and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the upcoming months.

Earlier, Engineer General Jean-Francois Dock said at the meeting of the Ukrainian and French delegations in Kyiv that France would continue its military assistance to Ukraine in 2024 and increase its ammunition supply.

As of 2023, Paris already transferred a total of 30 Caesar self-propelled howitzers to Kyiv. In October, the Defense Ministry of France had reported that the French military industry had ramped up the production of Caesar self-propelled howitzers, manufacturing six Caesars per month instead of two as it was in February 2022.

Moreover, France sent the second sea vessel to Ukraine in a move aimed at bolstering the export of Ukrainian grain crops, Clement Beaune, the French Minister of Transport, announced on 25 December.

Meanwhile, Kremlin documents and interviews obtained by the Washington Post have revealed Russia is increasing efforts to undermine French support for Ukraine. Its goal is to weaken NATO resolve, similar to interference campaigns in Germany. Sergei Kiriyenko, a Putin aide, has tasked Kremlin strategists with promoting discord in France through social media and political figures.

Propaganda messaging amplified includes: sanctions have damaged the French economy, arms supplies to Ukraine have left France vulnerable, and Europe shouldn’t “pay for another country’s war.” Troll farms produce anti-Ukraine social media content, targeting the EU citizens, in order to increase fear of confrontation with Russia.


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