Friday 03 February 2023
Paris – (AA):
French Defense Minister Sebastien Licorne announced, during a phone call with his Italian counterpart, Guido Crocito, that the MAMBA air defense system – which is equivalent to the American Patriot system – will be sent to Ukraine in the spring of 2023.
The French ministry said that this system is “the first European long-range anti-missile system, of Franco-Italian design, and will allow Ukraine to defend itself against attacks by Russian drones, missiles and aircraft by covering a large part of Ukrainian territory.”
This decision comes in response to the urgent request expressed by the Ukrainian Defense Minister, to his French and Italian counterparts, in order to protect civilians and infrastructure from Russian air attacks, that Ukraine’s acquisition of the Thales GM200 radar on Wednesday, funded by France as part of the support fund of 200 million euros, will enhance of the efficiency of the SAMP/T – MAMBA system, to be jointly presented by Paris and Rome.
And the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, stressed on Friday, at the conclusion of a European-Ukrainian summit held in Kyiv and centered on the issue of Ukraine’s accession to the bloc, that “Ukraine is the European Union, and the European Union is Ukraine.”
For his part, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stressed in the same context that the European Union’s sanctions against Russia should aim to ensure that Moscow will not be able to rebuild its military capabilities. This summit bears “strong indications” of the member states’ support for Kiev “in the face of unjustified aggression” by Russia, according to the European Commission.
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