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Macron: Training of Ukrainians for fighter jets to start immediately

In World
June 08, 2024

France plans to start training Ukrainian pilots and mechanics for the promised Mirage fighter jets immediately, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday after talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Paris.

“The priority is to start training pilots and mechanics immediately. This will begin in France in the next few days,” Macron said at the Élysée Palace in Paris.

Macron has not yet specified the number of Mirage jets that France and other countries plan to hand over to Ukraine, which is under attack from Russia.

France still needs to finalize how many aircraft it will provide itself and the talks on the joint initiative, which began several months ago with partner countries, need to be concluded.

Macron announced the delivery of the fighter jets the previous evening.

The Mirage 2000-5 aircraft are primarily designed for air defence and can also be used for the deployment of the Franco-British Scalp/Storm Shadow cruise missiles supplied to Ukraine.

The French Air Force plans to phase out the jets by 2030 anyway and replace them with modern Rafale jets. France has 40 Mirage 2000-5s, and this type of aircraft has also been exported to other countries.

During Zelensky’s visit, it was also decided that the Franco-German defence company KNDS would produce grenades and spare parts for Caesar guns in Ukraine in future.

Macron also announced further deliveries of Scalp cruise missiles and a fund totalling €200 million ($216 million) to support the Ukrainian economy. Specifically, companies that want to invest in the country’s critical infrastructure are to benefit from this.

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