France to send dozens of armored vehicles, light tanks to Ukraine

By Reuters   May 14, 2023 | 06:12 pm PT
France to send dozens of armored vehicles, light tanks to Ukraine
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky is welcomed by France's President Emmanuel Macron upon his arrival at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris on May 14. Photo by AFP
France will send to Ukraine in the coming weeks dozens of armored vehicles and light tanks, including the AMX-10RCs fighting vehicles, according to a joint statement issued after President Emmanuel Macron's talks with Ukraine's president.

After a working dinner that lasted more than three hours between Macron and Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the French presidency indicated that Paris was also concentrating its efforts on supporting Kyiv's air defense capabilities against Russian strikes.

The visit to Paris formed part of Zelenskiy's whirlwind weekend tour of several key European allies to drum up military and financial support ahead of an expected major Ukrainian counter-offensive against Russian forces.

After securing a bumper $3 billion new military package from Germany over the weekend, Zelenskiy said in Berlin on Sunday that Kyiv and its allies could make a Russian defeat "irreversible" as early as this year.

Macron reaffirmed to Zelenskiy that Paris will continue to provide political, financial, humanitarian and military support to Ukraine for as long as necessary, according to the statement.

A source at the French presidency told reporters that additional, more modern defense systems would be made available to Ukraine.

There is currently no question of delivering fighter jets to Kyiv, as it has requested, the source added.

The French AMX-10RCs vehicles have high speed and maneuverability, allowing them to move quickly on the battlefield and change positions. Ukraine's Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov called them a "sniper rifle on ... fast wheels."

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