Race to arm Ukraine: France is ahead of Germany

January 5,2023 506
Race to arm Ukraine: France is ahead of Germany

France is about to become the first country to send Western-made tanks to Ukraine, according to media reports on Wednesday in the wake of a “long and detailed conversation” between presidents Emmanuel Macron of France and Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.

The AMX-10 light tanks, which run on wheels, are highly mobile armored vehicles designed in the 1970s as “tank killers.”

“Thank you, friend! Your leadership brings our victory closer,” Zelensky addressed Macron via Twitter.

In his late-night video address, Zelensky also said, “This is what sends a clear signal to all our other partners: there is no rational reason why Ukraine has not yet been supplied with Western-type tanks.”

“The president wanted to increase… aid” to Ukraine “by accepting to deliver AMX-10 RC light tanks”, France 24 quoted an aide to the French leader who was speaking on condition of anonymity after the call between Macron and Zelensky.

“It is the first time that Western-designed tanks are supplied to the Ukrainian armed forces,” he said.

However, the official did not give any details about the volume or timing of the planned shipments but said talks would continue regarding the potential delivery of other vehicle types, according to Reuters.

This move of France gives the country the leader’s yellow jersey in Europe’s “arms race” for Ukraine. In Germany, the fact gave rise to certain annoyance.

“The other partner countries are once again leading the way. Now we can finally get started in the spirit of Franco-German friendship, right?” the Bundestag Defense Committee chairwoman addressed Chancellor Olaf Scholtz on Twitter. “The ball is now in Berlin. Now we just have to kick it into play.”

Photo: Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

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