France plans to stop sending more weapons to Ukraine from its own arsenal, and instead allow Kiev to buy weapons directly from the country’s manufacturers through a support fund, French Armed Forces Minister Sebastien Lecornu said on Sunday.
“We are now negotiating with our Ukrainian colleagues about using money from a special fund to encourage Ukraine to purchase new howitzers, and so that the French army does not have to hand over weapons from its own arsenal.” – The official said in an interview with LCI Radio.
Lecornu pointed out that French military aid to Ukraine has so far reached 3.2 billion euros, according to a parliamentary report published last week. With this amount, France became one of the most prominent European supporters of the Ukrainian army, along with Germany and the United Kingdom.
The official added that Paris pledged to provide an additional 200 million euros to the Ukrainian aid fund to ensure that the Ukrainian army continues to receive French military equipment. Kiev can use the fund’s money to buy weapons, but only from French contractors.
According to experts, this step reflects France’s new strategy in obtaining equipment for the Ukrainian army. The budget of the French Ministry of Defense will increase next year by 3.5 billion euros, or 7.5%, and will reach 50.4 billion dollars under the new military law for the years 2024-2030.
Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, France has supplied Kiev with a large amount of military equipment, including 30 Tsar cannons, dozens of armored personnel carriers and AMX-10 RC armored reconnaissance vehicles, as well as 15 TRF1 155 mm howitzers. About 100 Mistral surface-to-air missiles and two missile launchers.