Macron promises to deliver tanks to Zelensky for the first time

EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP French army soldiers ride an AMX-10 RC armored vehicle as they take part in a demonstration at the Eurosatory international air defense and security exhibition on June 12, 2022 in Villepinte, a northern suburb of Paris. (Photo: Emmanuel DUNAND / AFP)

INTERNATIONAL – First delivery of tanks of Western origin. This Wednesday, January 4, Emmanuel Macron announced to his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky that France will supply Ukraine. “light battle tanks” French-made AMX-10 RC.

“The president wanted to increase this aid” the army has already been brought to Kiev “Having agreed to the delivery of AMX-10 RC light battle tanks”, Elisey explained. “It is the first time that Western-designed tanks are supplied to the Armed Forces of Ukraine”, he assured after an hour-long phone conversation between the two leaders. The number of tanks and delivery times are not specified.

Delivery conditions are not specified

According to Paris, Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed to Vladimir Zelensky “unwavering support” From France “to victory”he wanted so “demonstrate consistency and persistence” French military aid.

France and Ukraine will exchange defense ministers “too early to determine terms” The French Ministry of the Armed Forces told AFP that both the deadlines for these deliveries and the number of tanks. The two presidents also discussed the situation on various military fronts, Yelisey emphasized.

Ukraine’s European allies have previously supplied Soviet-made tanks, but not yet Western-made tanks, despite repeated requests from Kiev.

Tanks “old but effective”

Germany is particularly reluctant to deliver Leopard-2 battle tanks. Paris, for its part, does not currently intend to provide Kiev with 56-ton Leclerc heavy tanks equipped with a gun with a range of 4,000 meters, and this is 200 copies of the French Army. However, France has deployed thirteen soldiers in Romania to strengthen NATO’s eastern border.

The AMX-10 RC, which began production in the 1980s, is a light tank weighing about 25 tons, mounted on wheels rather than on rails, equipped with 105 mm cannons. “very mobile”, “old but effective”Elisha’s advisor argues.

The French Army, which has about 250 of them, is gradually replacing them with a new generation Jaguar 25-ton class armored reconnaissance and combat vehicle.

Other scheduled deliveries

According to Paris, Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed to Vladimir Zelensky “unwavering support” From France “to victory”he wanted so “demonstrate consistency and persistence” French military aid.

Discussions about sending other types of armored vehicles between Kyiv and Paris are also ongoing “To help them strengthen their transport and offensive capabilities protected by armored formations”, the French presidency is in dispute. This announcement comes at a time when some voices in Europe sometimes claim that France has given too cold support to Ukraine.

In a ranking published by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy in December, France was ranked 10th behind Great Britain, Poland or Germany, mainly due to the military support of Kiev by the United States.

Since the beginning of the conflict in February, France has provided 18 155 mm Caesar guns with a range of 40 km, mounted mainly on trucks, anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, forward armored vehicles (AFV) and, more recently, rockets. launchers and Crotale rocket batteries.

Paris also plans to supply Kiev with six to twelve additional Caesar weapons taken from an order intended for Denmark. “We are still discussing with Denmark, the topic is not closed”commented to the Elysee on Wednesday.

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