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France seeks funds to help Ukraine after massive budget cutbacks

France seeks funds to help Ukraine after massive budget cutbacks French President Emmanuel Macron (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

The French government is seeking funds to finance a €3 billion military aid package to Ukraine following extensive cuts in the country's expenditures, according to Bloomberg.

France's ministries of defense, foreign affairs, and finance will be tasked with reallocating funds and identifying savings to foot the bill for equipment ranging from missiles to artillery. Individuals familiar with the matter, who requested anonymity as discussions are ongoing, disclosed this information without delving into specifics.

The government's options are limited after it slashed its GDP forecast for 2024 last Sunday and announced the need to save €10 billion to meet commitments on reducing the budget deficit. The government pledged costly measures to aid protesting farmers against rising prices, cheap imports, and bureaucratic hurdles.

Moreover, France faces criticism for its lack of transparency in providing assistance to Ukraine, leading to accusations that it is not doing as much as EU and NATO partners. Ukrainian military are experiencing acute shortages of ammunition as Russia's full-scale invasion reaches the two-year mark this week.

The financing for the latest aid must be found without making official changes to this year's budget, said individuals familiar with confidential plans. One source added that the €400 million allocated for defense funding until 2027 does not include provisions for additional assistance, complicating the task.

According to published data, France has spent €3.8 billion on supporting Ukraine, including ground-to-air missile systems such as the SAMP-T, self-propelled howitzers like the Caesar, AMX 10 armored vehicles, and SCALP missiles.

France's assistance

France stands as one of the leading countries providing aid to Ukraine, offering military and financial assistance, and supporting EU sanctions against Russia.

Recently, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited France and signed a security guarantee agreement with President Emmanuel Macron.

Subsequently, Zelenskyy announced that Ukraine would receive a new package of military aid from France, including artillery shells, self-propelled artillery systems Caesar, and additional air defense reinforcement.

French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu said that France would send new kamikaze drones to Ukraine, with deliveries potentially taking place in the coming weeks.