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Macron promises Mirage fighter jets to Ukraine


French President Emmanuel Macron has promised Ukraine Mirage fighter jets, although he initially did not say how many.

In a television interview in the northern city of Caen on Thursday evening, Macron said a coalition with partners is being formed to supply Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets to the country defending itself against Russia.

The fighter jets should enable Ukraine to protect its soil and airspace, Macron told broadcasters TF1 and France 2.

The French president also announced plans to have Ukrainian pilots trained by France from the summer. A brigade of 4,500 Ukrainian soldiers would also be trained.

When asked whether France would send military trainers to Ukraine, Macron responded evasively. Ukraine is asking for training in their country and this would not mean an escalation of the war, he said.

“We are currently working with all our partners and will decide at this time as a coalition based on a collective decision,” Macron said. At the same time, the French president made it clear that no training would take place in the combat zone.

Macron had announced last week that he would comment on the issue of a possible deployment of French military trainers in Ukraine during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to France, saying he would make a “very precise statement” at that time take.

Macron plans to welcome Zelensky to his official residence, the Élysée Palace in Paris, on Friday afternoon.

Production of the Mirage jets began in the early 1980s, followed by several versions of the aircraft. The Mirage 2000-5, the aircraft now to be delivered to Ukraine, was considered one of the best multi-role fighter aircraft of the 1990s.

In the future, Mirage jets will be gradually replaced by the newer Rafale jets.

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