France to supply Mirage warplanes to Ukraine, says Macron

Macron promised Thursday to supply Mirage warplanes to Ukraine and train their soldiers. No Russian comment is available yet, but it has warned earlier that a direct conflict between NATO and Russia would be inevitable if the alliance sends troops to Ukraine.

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A Greek pilot is pictured next to a Mirage 2000-5 fighter jet at the Tanagra air base in northern Athens, Greece, Feb. 4, 2021. (Photo by Lefteris Partsalis/Xinhua)

France will supply Mirage warplanes to Ukraine and train their soldiers, said French President Emmanuel Macron in an interview with French media on Thursday evening.

“We will launch a new cooperation and transfer Mirage 2000-5s,” said Macron. The French leader also promised to train a whole Ukrainian battalion of 4,500 troops, to be deployed on the battlefield.

He said the delivery of French fighter jets “is not a factor of escalation” and promised “these weapons will not be used to bomb civilians.” Additionally, Macron didn’t exclude the possibility of sending military instructors to Ukraine.

“There should be no taboo on this subject,” he said in the interview.

Mirage 2000 is a French multi-role, single-engine, fourth-generation jet fighter, manufactured by Dassault Aviation.

At the end of February, Macron suggested European nations should send troops to Ukraine during a meeting in Paris but many other European countries, including Germany, Britain, Spain, and Italy, voiced their disagreement.

Following Macron’s remarks in February, Russia warned a direct conflict between NATO and Russia would be inevitable if the alliance sends troops to Ukraine.

Earlier on Thursday, Marcon led a ceremony held at Omaha Beach in Normandy, northern France, to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

According to a live broadcast by French media BFMTV, some 20 heads of state and government, including U.S. President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, participated in the event.

En route to France for the ceremony, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters on Tuesday that the United States will maintain its policy of not sending military advisors to Ukraine.

The Normandy landings along the French coast on June 6, 1944, marked an important turning point in World War II, paving the way to the Allied’s victory against Nazi Germany.

Xinhua News Agency

Founded in 1931, Xinhua News Agency is one of the largest news organizations in the world, with over 10,000 employees across the globe. As the main source of news and information for China, Xinhua plays a key role in shaping the country's media landscape and communicating its perspectives to the world. The agency produces a wide range of content, including text news articles, photos, videos, and social media posts, in both Chinese and English, and its reports are widely used by media organizations around the world. Xinhua also operates several international bureaus, including in key capitals like Washington, D.C., Moscow, and London, to provide in-depth coverage of global events.

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