Emmanuel Macron promises a light battle tank to Volodymyr Zelensky

Paris has promised Ukraine to deliver its French-made AMX-10 RC light battle tank in response to Kyiv’s urgent need to confront the Russian army, President Emmanuel Macron announced on Wednesday January 4 to his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.

“President wants to increase aid” the military has been brought to kyiv “by approving the delivery of light battle tanks”explained the French presidency after an hour-long phone call between the two leaders, which made the point “this is the first time that tanks of Western design have been supplied to the Armed Forces of Ukraine”.

“Older but effective”

Ukraine’s European allies have delivered Soviet-designed tanks before, but never Western ones, despite repeated requests from Kyiv.

Volodymyr Zelensky says he has “be thankful” its French counterpart “for the decision to transfer light battle tanks” and the Bastion light armored vehicle, also resurrecting a “intensification of work with partners” to get similar delivery.

Germany in particular was reluctant to deliver Leopard-2 battle tanks. Paris, for its part, does not currently intend to supply Kyiv with the 56-tonne Leclerc heavy tanks equipped with a 4,000-meter-range gun, which the French Army have. 200 copies. But France has deployed thirteen men in Romania, to reinforce NATO’s eastern border.

The AMX-10 RC, whose production began in the 1980s, is a light tank weighing nearly 25 tons fitted with a 105 mm gun, mounted on wheels rather than rails, therefore “very mobile”, “old but efficient”argued an Elysee adviser.

The French Army, which has nearly 250 units, is gradually replacing them with the next generation Jaguar class 25-ton armored combat and reconnaissance vehicles.

Other planned deliveries

Defense ministers of France and Ukraine will exchange “very fast to define terms” of these deliveries, both on deadlines and on the number of tanks, is determined by the French Ministry of the Armed Forces.

According to Paris, Emmanuel Macron, who reiterated to Volodymyr Zelensky “unwavering support” French, so wanted “demonstrates sustainability and continuity” French military assistance.

“Until victory, until peace returns to Europe, our support for Ukraine will not weaken”Emmanuel Macron tweeted on Wednesday night.

Discussions are also continuing between Kyiv and Paris about the delivery of other types of armored vehicles “to help them strengthen their protected transport and attack capabilities with armored units”it was debated in the French presidential entourage.

“We have agreed with Emmanuel Macron to increase our cooperation to significantly strengthen our air defense and other defense capabilities.”also wrote on Twitter Volodymyr Zelensky.

Support was provided primarily by the United States

This announcement comes at a time when some voices in Europe have sometimes claimed that France was providing too lukewarm support to Ukraine.

A ranking by the Kiel Institute for the World economy in December put France in 10th place, behind Britain, Poland or Germany, for its military support to Kyiv, most of which was provided by the United States.

Since the start of the conflict in February, France has specifically provided 18 Caesar 155 mm guns with a range of 40 km, truck-mounted, anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, forward armored vehicles (VAB), and most recently rocket launchers and batteries. Crotale missile.

Paris also plans to supply Kyiv with six to twelve additional Caesar guns, taken from orders destined for Denmark.

“We are still in discussions with Denmark, the topic has not been closed”commented the Elysee on Wednesday.

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