France to give Ukraine Mirage-2000 fighter jets and train pilots

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced the transfer of several French Mirage-2000-5 fighter jets to Ukraine and the training of additional Ukrainian military personnel as part of a “new cooperation” with Kyiv.

The French President said this in a joint interview with BFMTV and TF1 on the evening of June 6.

Macron emphasized that helping Ukraine counter Russian aggression “means avoiding the rights of the strongest” and announced that this would be the topic of his talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“Tomorrow, we will launch a new cooperation and announce the sale of Mirage 2000-5s, which will enable Ukraine to protect its skies. We’ll be training Ukrainian pilots as early as this summer. It normally takes five to six months. The Ukrainian pilots will be trained in France”.

Emmanuel Macron, French President

In 2024, France will join fighter jet training for Ukrainian pilots

To train pilots to fly the Mirage 2000-5, France will organize six-month pilot training courses starting this summer, French President Macron said.

In addition, Paris will help train a 4,500-strong Ukrainian brigade, which Macron emphasized is “not an escalation factor.”

“Going to train someone in western Ukraine, in the free zone, is not a factor of escalation,”  assures Emmanuel Macron. “The question of training in Ukraine is requested by the Ukrainians and is not a factor of escalation,”  stresses the French head of state, who specifies that this decision, whether or not to send soldiers to train Ukrainian troops directly in Ukraine, will be taken “collectively.” But “why should we exclude it?” he asks. 

Achieving peace in Ukraine

“France wants peace, and we have been fighting for peace from day one,” says Emmanuel Macron. “But peace cannot be Ukraine’s capitulation […] because that’s a peace that recognizes a fait accompli. The only peace we want is a peace negotiated by both sides. That moment can only come if Ukraine resists. So if we hadn’t done everything we’ve done in terms of aid, Ukraine would already be a Russian satellite. But today, it is resisting, even if it is under a lot of pressure”, adds the French President.

Ukraine’s strikes on the territory of Russia

“The limit is set by what the Russians do. We have never escalated. It wasn’t us who attacked Ukraine,” says Emmanuel Macron, referring to Ukrainian strikes on military targets in Russian territory using allied weapons.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky meets with French President Emmanuel Macron and a number of other officials in Paris on Friday, June 7.

Macron and Zelensky are expected to sign two agreements providing Ukraine with €650 million in loans and grants. France will support Ukraine’s regional administrations and critical infrastructure, including energy, which is targeted by Russian missile attacks.

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