Sat, 04 Feb 2023

Paris reportedly hopes to double down on civilian aid instead

France has unofficially admitted that it is unable to provide Ukraine with more weapons due to dwindling stocks, but promised to continue helping Kiev in other ways, Politico reported, citing an anonymous source.

"Off the record, the French admit they can't give more weapons to Ukraine due to the state of their own supplies," the outlet said in its Brussels Playbook briefing on Thursday. It added that Paris "hopes to make up for it with civilian aid."

It comes amid reports that most NATO members have also run out of weaponry to give to Ukraine.

As part of its effort to make up for the lack of military assistance, France is seeking to organize a "conference for Ukrainian resilience this month," according to the report.

Earlier, Western leaders vowed to help Kiev survive the winter, with a number of countries getting ready to support Kiev with everything from blankets to generators.

Last month, The New York Times reported that some smaller NATO members "have exhausted their potential" in terms of supporting Ukraine with weaponry, with at least 20 of the bloc's 30 members apparently being "pretty tapped out." At the time, the newspaper said that only "larger allies," including France, Germany, and Italy could maintain the arms shipments or even increase them.

France has been repeatedly accused of not providing enough security assistance to Kiev. Paris ranks eighth in military assistance, far behind the US, the UK, Germany, and Poland, having committed just €220 million ($230 million), according to figures provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

Addressing the criticism, last month Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu announced that France would supply two multiple-launch rocket systems to Kiev while confirming the delivery of two batteries of Crotale NG air defense systems. He also said that they were looking at a request from Ukraine for radars to defend against Russian strikes.

Prior to that, France provided a batch of Caesar self-propelled howitzers, MILAN anti-tank missiles, and other military hardware.

Moscow has repeatedly warned Western states against pumping Ukraine with weapons, saying it will only prolong the conflict.

(RT.com)

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