Zelensky thanks France as Paris promises more military aid for Ukraine

AFP - SERGEI SUPINSKY

Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky on Wednesday met the French Defence Minister Sébastien Lecornu in Kyiv. The Ukrainian leader thanked France for its continuing military and humanitarian support for his nation in the war against Russia.

The Ukrainian leader ended his daily televised address by describing his meeting with Lecornu.

"We discussed cooperation for the coming year," Zelensky said. "We talked about rebuilding our country, and about moving to a new level in the reinforcement of our defences against air attack."

Earlier, on social media, Zelensky expressed his gratitude to France for the military equipment aready supplied which, he said, had made Ukrainian skies safer and had boosted the capacities of the national defence forces.

Zelensky ended his discourse in French, repeating his nation's appreciation of the support provided by Paris. "Merci la France."

Maintenance and future needs

France has already provided weaponry like the Caesar artillery system to Ukrainian army units, and has created a fund of 200 million euros to enable the Kyiv authorities to buy equipment directly from French manufacturers.

Defence Minister Sébastien Lecornu told reporters on Wednesday that France would help with the maintenance of weapons already delivered. He also confirmed that the fund could be used to purchase more arms like Mistral missiles to neutralise drone strikes.

"France has chosen several ways to help Ukraine," Lecornu said during his first visit to the country since Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded in February.


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