On the same day the UK announced it would begin training of Ukrainian pilots for the operation of NATO-standard fighters, France’s President Emmanuel Macron declared readiness to train Ukrainian fighter jet pilots, stating that his country has “opened the door” to such training while ruling out the deployment of warplanes to Kyiv.
After securing $3 billion in military aid from Germany during a visit on Sunday, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy’s surprise visit to Paris led to a promise from Macron to train Ukrainian fighter jet pilots.
“We have opened the door to training pilots, and this with several other European countries who are also ready. I think discussions are under way with the Americans,” Macron said in an interview with television network TF1.
Macron also announced that in the upcoming weeks, France will provide long-range missiles, training, and equipment to multiple battalions, armored vehicles, and light tanks, including AMX-10RC to the Ukrainian army.
The long range missiles pledged by Macron will reportedly be the French variant of the Storm Shadow missile already supplied to Ukraine by the UK. Developed jointly by the UK and France, the missile is referred to as SCALP in French service.
In addition to visiting Germany, France, and the UK, President Zelensky also made a visit to Italy, where Prime Minister Meloni pledged comprehensive military and financial backing to Kyiv.
“I am grateful to the UK for the decision to train our pilots. We are creating a coalition to train pilots on modern Western aircraft. We continue our work on the fighter jet coalition as well, and we are moving forward actively,” Zelenskyy said following his visit to London.