French President Macron Announces Additional Military Aid for Ukraine Amid Ongoing Conflict

Paris to Send 40 SCALP Missiles and Hundreds of Bombs to Support Ukraine in its Struggle Against Russia

French President Emmanuel Macron has declared an increase in military assistance to Ukraine, pledging to send 40 SCALP air-launched cruise missiles and hundreds of precision-guided bombs as the conflict with Russia continues. Macron emphasized that the West “cannot let Russia win” and revealed plans for a visit to Ukraine next month.

Addressing reporters at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Tuesday, Macron reaffirmed France’s commitment to supporting Ukraine, responding to previous criticisms that his country has not done enough to aid Kiev. The promised military assistance includes SCALP missiles, boasting a range exceeding 250km, and munitions equipped with the AASM or HAMMER module, transforming ordinary bombs into precision-guided weapons with a range of up to 70km. Russia has accused Ukraine of using similar Western-supplied long-range weapons to target civilian infrastructure.

Macron also disclosed his upcoming visit to Ukraine in February to finalize a bilateral security agreement, similar to the one recently signed between the UK and Ukraine. The ten-year pact with the UK ensures swift and sustained security assistance in the event of a potential Russian attack and outlines various support measures.

Despite the announcement, France has faced criticism from NATO allies, particularly Poland, for its perceived inadequate support to Ukraine. According to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, France’s military aid to Ukraine stands at €500 million ($540 million), less than Slovakia’s contribution. French lawmakers dispute these figures, asserting that the actual assistance provided is more substantial, attributing discrepancies to flawed methodology.

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Ukraine has consistently appealed for increased Western aid since the conflict began in February 2022. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba expressed concerns over a potential gridlock in the US Congress, hindering approval for additional funding. On Monday, Kuleba urged the West to escalate support, emphasizing that Ukrainians are prepared to “fight with shovels” if they run out of weapons.

France had previously delivered 50 SCALP missiles to Ukraine last year, following the UK’s lead in providing similar weapons, known as Storm Shadows. Russia has accused Ukraine of using these long-range missiles to target residential areas, resulting in civilian casualties.

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