French protection chief visits Ukraine, guarantees extra help

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) – The French protection minister on Wednesday promised further navy help Ukraine to insist that the help of his authorities is unrelenting whereas efforts are additionally being made with Moscow attain an eventual negotiated finish to Russiathe invasion of.

French Minister for the Armed Forces Sebastien Lecornu stated that his journey to Kyiv is essential to determine the priorities of the Ukrainian protection ministry. France’s help will embody a 200 million euro (US$212 million) fund that will permit Ukraine to purchase weapons, stated Lecornu.

Lecornu traveled to Ukraine‘s capital after a visit to Poland, the place he introduced a deal on Tuesday to promote Poland two French navy satellites.

Whereas France has been much less vocal about its navy help for Ukraine than the USA and Nice Britain, the nation despatched a relentless provide of weapons to Ukraine since Russia invaded on February 24.

France hosted two help conferences for Ukraine this month. However many in Ukraine stay essential of Paris’ response to the battle over President Emmanuel Macron’s efforts to keep up contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin and search a negotiated resolution.

Lecornu stated that France is giving navy tools from the French military to the Ukrainian military, however emphasised that this is not going to weaken the protection of France. France may ship a brand new air protection system sooner or later, officers stated, with out disclosing particulars.

stated Reznikov UkraineThe primary precedence of is “air protection, anti-missile protection, anti-drone protection, that’s, the duty of defending (the) Ukrainian sky.” French Crotale air protection methods are already “on fight obligation,” Reznikov stated.

“And accordingly, we agreed that we’ll improve (the) capabilities of our air drive,” he stated.

Lecornu got here to Ukraine every week after Zelenskyy visited the USA, Ukraine‘s primary ally, and in the midst of combating concentrated principally within the east of the nation however with nobody Moscow nor Kyiv reporting main good points in latest weeks.

In his annual speech to UkraineZelenskyy’s parliament urged the European Union to open membership negotiations together with his nation after granting it candidate standing in June. He additionally praised relations with the USA, which promised to ship highly effective Patriot air protection methods to Ukraine.

“This can be a particular signal of religion in Ukraine,” stated Zelenskyy.

Whereas each Russia and Ukraine stated they’re prepared to take part in peace talks, their acknowledged phrases stay removed from clear. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reiterated Wednesday that any peace plan should acknowledge 4 areas of Ukraine that Russia illegally annexed as Russian territory, a requirement Kyiv flatly rejects.

Russian forces pressed their offensive to seize all of jap Ukraine by concentrating in latest weeks on Bakhmut, a metropolis in Donetsk province. Ukrainian forces pushed a counter-offensive in the direction of Kreminna, a metropolis in neighboring Luhansk province, in hopes of retaking the world and presumably dispersing. Russia‘s troops within the east.

France offered Ukraine with a lot of its arsenal of Caesar cannons, in addition to anti-tank missiles, Crotale anti-aircraft missile batteries and rocket launchers. It additionally trains about 2,000 Ukrainian troopers on French soil. Macron promised final week to supply a brand new injection of weapons in early 2023.

Western navy help to Ukraine made indignant Moscow. On Tuesday, Russian International Minister Sergey Lavrov accused Washington and NATO of inciting the battle with the goal of weakening Russia and warned that the battle may spin uncontrolled.

Russia invaded Ukraine 10 months in the past, claiming a risk to its safety orchestrated by NATO. The battle has killed tens of hundreds of individuals and displaced tens of millions to this point, with an finish nowhere in sight.

Russian assaults on energy vegetation and different infrastructure have left tens of millions of Ukrainians with out heating and electrical energy for hours or days at a time.

The most recent Russian shelling wounded a minimum of eight civilians, together with three in Bakhmut, Donetsk regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko stated.

Within the southern area of Kherson, Russian shelling hit a maternity hospital shortly after two girls gave start there, though Ukrainian officers stated nobody was injured. Zelenskyy’s workplace later reported that shelling of a village within the space injured three civilians, together with a 14-year-old.

UkraineThe overseas minister advised The Related Press this week that his authorities want to see a peace convention by the tip of February. Ukraine stated previously that it could not negotiate with Russia earlier than the complete withdrawal of its troops, whereas Moscow insists on its navy good points and the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014 can’t be ignored.

Requested about Ukraine” Intending to carry a February summit underneath the auspices of the UN, Kremlin spokesman Peskov stated that any peace plan can solely proceed from the belief of Russia‘s sovereignty over the illegally annexed areas of Ukraine.

“There is no such thing as a peace plan Ukraine nevertheless,” Peskov stated throughout a convention name with reporters. “And there can’t be any Ukrainian peace plan that fails to take into consideration immediately’s realities relating to the Russian territory, the incorporation of the brand new 4 areas into Russia. Any plan that fails to acknowledge these realities can’t be thought-about a peace plan.”

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