The French president said on Wednesday that light tanks manufactured in France would be sent to Ukraine to assist in driving back Russian soldiers.
A change in the manner in which France will provide military assistance to Ukraine may be seen in the decision to provide the AMX-10 RC light tank to Kyiv. This tank is currently being retired from service with the French army.
An assistant to French President Emmanuel Macron stated on Wednesday that western-designed tanks are being provided to the Ukrainian armed forces for the very first time. "It is the first time that western-designed tanks are delivered to the Ukrainian armed forces,"
The agreement was made public by the office of Mr. Macron after he had a phone conversation with the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Mr. Zelenskyy expressed gratitude to France "for the decision to deliver light tanks and Bastion armored personnel carriers" to Ukraine.
"Thank you very much, buddy! Thanks to your leadership, we are getting closer to winning," he tweeted.
France has already provided Ukraine with state-of-the-art artillery, armored personnel carriers, anti-aircraft missiles, and air-defense systems.
Since February of last year, NATO partners have been progressively boosting their military assistance to Ukraine. During this time, they have been supplying more advanced weaponry while openly expressing concern about the possibility of the war becoming more intense.
Although the provision of training and maintenance is included in the arrangement, it was not immediately apparent how many of the French tanks would be supplied or when they would be sent.
The French Ministry of Defense said that officials from both nations will meet shortly to discuss the matter.
The AMX-10 RC tanks, which have been in use since the 1980s, are characterized by their low weight and six-wheeled design as opposed to track systems.
They were developed for use in reconnaissance operations and saw service in France's most recent military actions abroad, which took place in the Sahel area of West Africa and Afghanistan respectively.
According to a French official, they are "extremely mobile...perhaps elderly but high-performance" despite their age.
An adviser to the president of Ukraine said that the Crotale air defense system, which was manufactured in France and is helping to protect the country from armed drones and missiles.
The assistance worker reported that the systems had been delivered, that they were being utilized by the Ukrainians, and that they were being favorably accepted.
In the last several weeks, Mr. Macron has been more strident in his criticism of Russia and has accused President Vladimir Putin of committing war crimes by striking on Ukrainian infrastructure.
In his greeting to the Ukrainian people on the eve of the New Year, the leader of France said the following to them: "We will support you till triumph, and we will construct a fair and sustainable peace. Put your faith in France, and put your faith in Europe."
In June, he remarked, "we must not embarrass Russia," and in December, he urged for Moscow to be granted "security assurances" after the conclusion of the battle. Both of these statements were made after he had previously declared, "we must not humiliate Russia."