France first to supply Ukraine with modern armored vehicles

5 January, 06:07 AM
On January 4, Emmanuel Macron promised to give Ukraine

On January 4, Emmanuel Macron promised to give Ukraine "wheeled tanks" - the first tanks of Western production (Photo:REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko)

France's decision to transfer AMX-10RC armored fighting vehicles brings Europe's security assistance to Ukraine to a new level, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his evening address on Jan. 4.

The president noted that for the first time Ukraine would receive French-made “wheeled tanks.” He considers this an “extremely relevant signal” ahead of an upcoming ‘Ramstein’ meeting.

“This is what sends a clear signal to all our partners: now there is no rational reason not to deliver Western-style tanks to Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said.

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“...we must put an end to Russian aggression this year and not put off any of the defensive capabilities, which can speed up the defeat of the terrorist state. Modern Western armored vehicles, Western-style tanks are one of such key capabilities.”

On Jan. 4, Zelenskyy spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron, after which Paris announced that Ukraine will receive French-made AMX-10RC fighting vehicles, equipped with powerful 105mm gun, effective against some main battle tanks.

France leading the charge in stepping up the quality of Western arms shipments to Ukraine puts more pressure on Berlin, as it remains reluctant to provide Kyiv with Leopard main battle tanks.

Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, Chair of Bundestag’s Defense Committee, urged German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to expand the scope of aid to Ukraine.

“The other partner countries are once again leading the way,” Strack-Zimmermann wrote on Twitter, referring to France’s announcement.

“Now we can finally get started in the spirit of Franco-German friendship, right, Chancellor (Scholz)? The ball is now in Berlin’s court.”

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