France to announce military training mission in Ukraine next week


France may soon send military trainers to Ukraine despite concerns from some allies and criticism from Russia, Reuters reported on May 30.

The decision could be announced next week during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's visit to France, Reuters said.

Paris hopes to lead a coalition of countries offering such assistance to Kyiv's war effort, even though some of its European Union partners fear this could increase the likelihood of direct conflict with Russia, the sources said.

France would initially send a limited number of personnel to assess the mission before dispatching several hundred trainers. The training would focus on demining, maintaining equipment, and providing technical expertise for warplanes.

Read also: Belgium's PM limits use of promised F-16s to Ukrainian territory

Paris would also finance, arm, and train a Ukrainian motorized brigade, according to Reuters.

"The arrangements are very advanced and we could expect something next week," one source said.

Zelenskyy is due in France on June 6, the 80th anniversary of D-Day, when Allied soldiers landed in Normandy to drive out Nazi German forces during World War II.

French readiness to send troops to Ukraine

France is prepared to send instructors to train Ukrainian military personnel, Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief General Oleksandr Syrskyi said on May 27, after a conversation with French Armed Forces Minister Sébastien Lecornu.

Syrskyi expressed hope that other countries would join the initiative.

Read also: Germany won't be joining France in sending military instructors to Ukraine

Discussions about French instructors are ongoing, and Ukraine is currently preparing documents to expedite the process once a decision is made, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry later clarified.

The deployment of instructors to Ukraine has been under discussion since February 2024, but no decision has been finalized, the French Defense Ministry told Reuters.

Sending Western military personnel to Ukraine in the future could not be ruled out, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Feb. 26.

Read also: Macron to unveil plan for French military instructors in Ukraine during Zelenskyy’s Normandy visit

While most Western allies have publicly rejected this idea, the French government later explained that French troops might participate in defending certain borders, conducting training, or providing ground-based air defense.

Macron ruled out French soldiers engaging "directly on the front lines."

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