There is “no question of sending combat troops” to Ukraine: the government tries to reassure before the debate in Parliament

There is "no question of sending combat troops" to Ukraine: the government tries to reassure before the debate in Parliament

Sébastien Lecornu and Emmanuel Macron, at Les Invalides. MAXPPP – LUDOVIC MARIN/POOL

An update from the Minister of the Armed Forces, before the debate in Parliament, as concern spreads across the country. Three French companies, on the other hand, will produce weapons "on Ukrainian soil"

France continues to blow hot and cold on the support front for Ukraine, but its strategy is taking shape. While Emmanuel Macron still defends support for Kiev "without limit" ni "red line", the Minister of the Armed Forces assured Friday that there was no question " to send combat troops" to Ukraine.

Sébastien Lecornu confirms France’s direct involvement on the ground, but it will take another form, according to him. The French will not be there to hold the weapons, but to manufacture them.

Three French companies will "produce spare parts on Ukrainian soil, perhaps even ammunition", a he explained on BFMTV.

Local partnerships

Among the companies concerned, the minister notably named Delair, specialized in the manufacturing of drones."The idea is to find a local partnership to create commercial agreements which also allow, incidentally, to look at what the Ukrainian market will be in the long term", he clarified.

Paris also placed an order for 200 Aster anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic missiles from the defense company MBDA, "those that our frigates are currently firing in the Red Sea to protect the boats when there are attacks from the Houthis", specifies Sébastien Lecornu.

It is now up to MBDA to "deliver as quickly as possible these 200 Aster missiles which will be used as much for the French army as for the French army Ukrainian", he insists, at the moment. where the conflict gets bogged down in Ukraine. At the same time, the question of support for kyiv ignites the political debate in France.

Macron: "Do not exclude, that’is not doing" 

The Head of State decided to consult Parliament after the uproar caused by his remarks suggesting, on February 16, the possibility of sending troops to Ukraine.

Emmanuel Macron asked the government to make a declaration on the security pact established with Ukraine which provides for an additional 3 billion euros in 2024, compared to 2.1 billion in 2023 and 1.7 billion in 2022.

A debate and a vote

A debate and a vote are planned for Tuesday in the National Assembly, then Wednesday in the Senate. The French president, who has hardened his position towards Russia, went further on Thursday before party leaders by continuing to defend a form of strategic ambiguity.

Positioning which worries the opposition. "Not excluding something is not doing it" tempered on Friday, Emmanuel Macron, who is trying the illusory bet of making Putin doubt without worrying his own fellow citizens.

According to polls, seven to eight out of ten French people are opposed to the idea of ​​sending French troops to fight in Ukraine.

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