French defence minister promises more military support for Ukraine

France’s armed forces minister promised more military support for Kyiv on Wednesday, during his first visit to the country. 

Sébastien Lecornu met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his Ukrainian counterpart Oleksii Reznikov in a bid to show that France was still behind Ukraine. 

The French minister said his country would redefine a “common agenda” on France’s military support for Ukraine. 

He added there had been discussions on the “tactical and strategic situation” on the ground, as well as the needs of the Ukrainian army in the coming weeks.

Lecornu’s visit came after he travelled to Warsaw where he approved an agreement with Poland to provide two reconnaissance satellites to help them to monitor events on the frontlines.

In the Ukrainian capital, Lecornu laid a wreath at a monument to remember those who have died fighting in the war.

France has sent continued military support to Ukraine and hosted two aid conferences to raise money for the country.

The French minister told reporters on Wednesday about an “innovative fund of 200 million euros” which allows Ukraine to buy equipment directly from French manufacturers.” 

France has drawn fire in the past for its lack of investment in the war in Ukraine, compared to its size and wealth. 

“Our support for Ukraine has been constant,” Lecornu tweeted ahead of his trip.

Many in Ukraine had criticised French President Emmanuel Macron’s efforts to maintain contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin in an attempt to seek a negotiated solution.

The French president told regional press in June that Russia shouldn’t be humiliated so that when the fighting stops, “we can build a way out through diplomatic means.”

Macron still travelled to Kyiv that month with Germany’s Olaf Scholz and former Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, where the leaders threw their support behind granting Ukraine EU candidate status.

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