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Zelensky thanks France for the promised delivery of Mirage fighter jets

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked France for promising to send Mirage fighter jets to his country in support of Kiev’s efforts to protect its skies from Russia’s daily airstrikes.

“Your fighter planes, your excellent fighter planes, piloted by Ukrainian pilots, prove that Europe is stronger, that Europe is stronger than the evil that dared to threaten it,” Zelensky said in a speech to the French parliament in Paris on Friday.

The evening before, French President Emmanuel Macron announced the transfer of Mirage 2000 fighter jets to Ukraine. The jets can be used to deploy air-launched cruise missiles. Macron did not say how many of the jets would be delivered.

Macron also announced plans to have Ukrainian pilots trained by France from the summer.

Zelensky told French lawmakers that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “anti-Europe” and would not stop his territorial gains with Ukraine, comparing Moscow’s campaign to Hitler’s in World War II.

“The situation today is the same as in the 1930s, when Hitler did the same thing against his neighbors,” Zelensky said.

He rejected the idea of ​​freezing the war along the current front line and urged parliamentarians not to relax their support for Ukraine.

“We live in a time when Europe, unfortunately, is no longer a continent of peace,” Zelensky said at the start of his speech.

“Once again Europe’s cities are being destroyed and villages are being burned down,” he said of the Russian bombing of Ukraine. He also denounced the kidnapping of Ukrainian children in occupied territories.

“This is now against Ukraine. But this could be aimed at other countries tomorrow, and we already see clearly the direction of the aggression – the Baltic countries, Poland, the Balkans,” he said.

“The Russian regime sees no borders and even Europe is no longer enough,” Zelensky said, pointing to Russian military actions in Syria and Moscow’s growing footprint in Africa’s Sahel region.

The speech was interrupted several times by applause.

Zelensky will be received by President Macron at the Élysée on Friday evening.

A visit was also planned to the defense company KNDS in Versailles, which, according to the French government, wants to produce weapons in Ukraine.

Zelensky arrived in France on Thursday and took part in the commemoration of D-Day, the Allied landings in Normandy 80 years ago during World War II.

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