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NATO instructors in Ukraine: Macron makes statement

NATO instructors in Ukraine: Macron makes statement Archive photo: French President Emmanuel Macron (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

France is not at war with Russia and does not want escalation, but at the same time, it wants to help Ukraine defend itself. Therefore, Paris wants to have a coalition of partners who would be ready to send their instructors to Ukraine, according to a statement by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Macron's position

"On the issue of instructors on the territory of Ukraine, we talked about it on February 26, if you remember. Zelenskyy and his defense minister clearly expressed Ukraine's needs. Ukraine is mobilizing many more people today, and they will need to be trained more effectively on Ukrainian territory. This is a legitimate measure," he said.

Macron added that France is not at war with Russia, doesn't want escalation, but wants to do everything to help Ukraine defend itself. The President of France does not consider training Ukrainian soldiers on sovereign Ukrainian territory as an escalation.

"Why should we submit to Russia, which will decide that we have no right to send instructors? We do not agree with these red lines. Thirdly, we have decided that we want to have a coalition, and many of our partners have already agreed," explained the President of France.

He clarified that out of respect for partners, he cannot say right now that France will do it. However, they know that France will not be alone and will use the coming days to organize a broad coalition to respond to Ukraine's requests within the same framework Macron mentioned.

Zelenskyy's position

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also commented on the initiative regarding the dispatch of instructors to Ukraine from Western countries.

"I want our position to be clearly formulated. We support President Macron's initiative to send instructors to Ukraine. And by the way, it just shortens the path to training. What's the surprise? NATO countries have trained our soldiers on their territories, but this is a shorter path. So I am grateful for this initiative," said the head of Ukraine.

Discussions about instructors from Western countries and their deployment to Ukraine

This initiative has been under discussion since February of this year when President Macron decided to publicly propose it to Western countries. However, not all NATO members supported this idea.

In response, Russia stated that the instructors would supposedly become a "legitimate target." President Zelenskyy declared that Russian threats to France regarding the possibility of sending French instructors to Ukraine are another argument in favor of our determination.