France has lifted a corner of the veil on its arms deliveries

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks via video conference before the National Assembly in Paris on March 23, 2022.

As the battle for Donbass draws near, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky assesses Western support for his country in terms of the level of arms deliveries that can help resist the Russian army. In his eyes, they are as important, if not more so, than the sanctions imposed on Moscow.

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Germany’s inertia on this issue, that of Chancellor Olaf Scholz in particular, is largely at the root of the current dispute between Berlin and kyiv. Is this why the French government decided, in the midst of the campaign for the second round of the presidential elections, to make a gesture?

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Thursday April 14 by phone, Emmanuel Macron and Volodymyr Zelensky again “discussed about the needs of Ukraine in military equipment”, according to the Elysee. Above all, the day before, France had partially broken the discretion that had been imposed since the beginning of the conflict in its arms deliveries to Kyiv, by communicating both the total value of the equipment it had sent so far and detailing a number of these materials. A move that followed the meeting between the Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, and her Ukrainian counterpart, Oleksiy Reznikov.

transparency efforts

While Paris assumed only support in terms of fuel and “defensive weapons”, without specifying, the Ministry of the Armed Forces indicated in a press release that it had contributed to the war effort in kyiv by sending means of protection, optronic equipment, weapons and ammunition, as well as weapon systems. Equipment for a total amount of several hundred million euros. These arms deliveries from France are expected to continue, and additional requests from Ukraine will continue to arrive.

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These supplies fall into two categories. Some of them relate to bilateral cooperation between France and Ukraine and are equipment transfers by France, for a currently planned amount of around 100 million euros. The second part is part of a European budget mechanism called the “European Peace Facility” (FEP), activated from the first week of fighting by the Twenty-seven, in order to co-finance the deliveries.

This system allows France to be reimbursed for the value of the equipment sent. From an initial amount of 500 million euros, this EFF has now reached 1,000 million euros, and should soon rise to 1,500 million. France contributes 18%. The EFF could also eventually repay part of the bilateral aid currently provided by Paris to kyiv.

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