France to offer €300M worth of aid, military equipment to Ukraine

France will also freeze Russian officials' assets, according to local media reports

Cindi Cook  | 25.02.2022 - Update : 26.02.2022
France to offer €300M worth of aid, military equipment to Ukraine


French President Emmanuel Macron has moved to extend €300 million ($337 million) of aid and military equipment to Ukraine, according to French daily Le Monde. 

According to the report, which came on the second day of Russia's military intervention in Ukraine, France will also freeze Russian officials' assets within the country.

President Emmanuel Macron on Friday announced at the country’s national assembly the delivery of additional €300 million in aid, along with military equipment, to Ukraine and pledged to undertake steps in the NATO framework "to protect the soil of our Baltic and Romanian allies."

In a message sent to lawmakers explaining France’s response to the Ukrainian invasion, Macron said "nothing will be neglected in matters of aid" to Kyiv.

Following a "frank, direct, and rapid" phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday night, Macron told the EU in a transmission that he demanded an end to the fighting. 

He explained the context of his discussion at a press conference following an extraordinary meeting of the European Council in Brussels on Thursday, streamed via Twitter, as well. 

"I had a frank, direct, and rapid exchange with President Putin last night at the request of President Zelenskyy, to first of all ask him to stop the combat, and above all to propose a discussion with President Zelenskyy," said Macron. "I transmitted to Putin that this was not the best choice right now, to have chosen war. We will all continue to condemn, to sanction, to act, to take this open path to obtain a cessation of hostilities."

Macron also sent a statement to France’s National Assembly on Friday to be read aloud, as he was in attendance at an emergency meeting of NATO leaders.

"I salute the courage shown by the Ukrainian people and authorities in resisting Russia’s massive military offensives," said the statement. "Nothing has been or will be neglected to come to their aid. We owe them support and solidarity."

Macron also assured that France would “do its part to assist the Ukrainian population" fleeing the country.

The UN estimates that more than 100,000 people have left their homes and are on the road to leave the country since Russia’s military intervention began on Thursday morning.

Macron said there would be a coordinated response to accommodate the stranded refugees. "We will do it as Europeans, in a coordinated, responsible, and united manner," he said at the press conference. 

The 27 member states of the EU also moved on Friday afternoon to sanction the assets of Putin and those of his Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Macron continued to monitor the situation from the Ministry of Defense in Paris on Friday afternoon.

Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine entered its second day on Friday, with the latest reports indicating that Russian troops were heading toward the capital Kyiv from several directions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered the military intervention on Thursday, just days after recognizing two separatist-held enclaves in eastern Ukraine.

He claimed that Moscow had no plan to occupy the neighboring country, but wanted to "demilitarize" and "denazify" Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of trying to install a puppet government and said Ukrainians will defend their country against Russian aggression.  

* Shweta Desai contributed to this report from Paris

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