Thursday, January 5, 2023

Macron Promises Zelenskyy To Send French Tanks To Ukraine

French President Emmanuel Macron in a phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has said Paris will send Kiev an unspecified number of AMX-10 RC armored fighting vehicles, AFP reported, citing an Elysee Palace official.

As noted in the report, AMX-10 RC is a light tank model in service since the 1980s that the French military is now gradually phasing out.

"The president wanted to increase... aid" to Ukraine "by accepting to deliver AMX-10 RC light tanks," an anonymous aide to the French president told reporters after the Wednesday call between Macron and Zelenskyy, as quoted by AFP.

The official also said, as quoted in the report, that the delivery would represent a "significant shift" in French military support for Kiev because France would become the first country to send tanks to Ukraine.

However, Russian army Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov said on December 22 that Western countries had supplied Ukraine with more than 350 tanks, 700 artillery systems, 100 multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), 30 helicopters, at least 5,000 drones, and 1,000 armored fighting vehicles since the start of Russia's special military operation.

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