Macron does not rule out providing tanks to Ukraine
"As for the Leclerc tanks, it is not out of the question," President of France Emmanuel Macron said at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Paris on January 22, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
But, he added, the decision on the transfer of tanks should be made collectively on three grounds: such supplies should not lead to further escalation, it should actually be a real efficient help to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and should not weaken the armies of the countries themselves and NATO. Macron noted that it is necessary to take into account such points as training and logistics.
The President of France said that the issue will be discussed with the most important allies, primarily with Germany.
"We will carry out the work in the coming days and weeks," he added.
Chancellor Scholz answered the question about the German Leopard 2 tanks in the same vein regarding close coordination although did not even make such "promises" and did not mention the word "Leopard" in his answer.
"Our two countries do a lot to support Ukraine – financially, humanitarianly, but also with weapons. We will continue, we have always closely agreed on the issues ... and this principle will remain," Scholz said.
At the same time, he noted that Germany constantly expands the list of weapons it provides to Ukraine and always coordinates it with its closest partners: this was the case with artillery, MLRS, infantry fighting vehicles, air defense systems, etc. All this equipment is very efficient.
Scholz also mentioned the Elysée Treaty which was aimed at preventing a new war, "and it worked for the EU members."
"That is why we are so outraged by the war that Russia has unleashed ... We must respond to the aggression that has occurred ... including by providing weapons," Scholz said.
He called Russia's methods of waging war "a model of the 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries."
The Chancellor noted that he and President Macron often spoke with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky but also with President Putin who was urged to end the war in Ukraine and withdraw Russian troops from its territory.
In addition to the leaders, defense ministers Boris Pistorius and Sébastien Lecornu discussed the topic of supporting Ukraine with weapons as part of a joint meeting of the German-French Council of Ministers in Paris.
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