A new step taken in France’s commitment alongside the Ukrainian army. Emmanuel Macron announced on Monday evening that France was going to train Ukrainian fighter pilots, during an interview at 8 p.m. on TF1.
“We opened the door to train (Ukrainian) pilots. And this with several other European countries that are ready for it. I believe that discussions are in progress with the Americans”, declared the President of the Republic, without specifying the modalities of this training which can start “from now”. If he repeated “that there is no taboo”, he also repeated that “France [n’allait] not deliver planes” at this time.
In a joint statement after their working dinner on Sunday evening, Emmanuel Macron and Volodymyr Zelensky announced that they aimed to train, in 2023, 2,000 Ukrainians in France and nearly 4,000 in Poland, where the French army has deployed more than 200 soldiers for this. Two months ago, Ukrainian soldiers completed their training in the handling of light armored vehicles, supplied by France, on Canjuers military base (var).
Mirage 2000s recently retired from service
Earlier in the day, Rishi Sunak, the British Prime Minister, also promised Zelensky that the training of Ukrainian pilots would begin “relatively soon”. “We want to create a coalition for aircraft and I am very optimistic about it, it will happen very soon,” said Volodymyr Zelensky after his interview.
The Ukrainian leader, who is said to have lost around 60 aircraft, has been asking his Western allies for months to provide him with planes that would allow the army to strike Russian troops in depth. Regarding this Ukrainian request, “the question is a bit premature”, repeated an adviser to President Macron on Sunday evening, recalling that it was first necessary to train pilots for this, a long and complex process, which could take six months to complete. a year.
What planes do Ukrainian pilots train on? Emmanuel Macron did not specify. The French Air Force has thirteen Mirage 2000s recently retired from service which could be reconditioned and then made combat-ready again.