May 29, 2023

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As Sébastien Lecornu asserts, was France one of the five countries providing the most military aid to Q?

“We have nothing to be ashamed of”. In an interview JDD (Paid Item)On Saturday, November 19, Defense Minister Sébastien Lecorne assured France “Top Five Countries” In terms of military assistance. The Minister referred to training and logistics as a matter of course “All our military aid” Not just weapons.

According to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (ifW Kiel), a German think tank, regularly publishes and updates Ukraine support tracker (in English)France ranks only 13th among countries providing military aid (including material and financial aid).

Deliveries are partly shrouded in military secrecy

The ranking is a reflection of what is publicly stated, not what is actually delivered.”Controversies Sébastien Lecornu, in the JDD. In fact, since the start of the war in Ukraine, France has chosen, “In the name of strategic secrecy, there should not be too much transparency in this area”, Pierre Haroch, an international relations and security researcher at Queen Mary University of London, explains. That’s the only way to keep Moscow from knowing “What we offer and when we offer it to Ukrainians”. This argument “Other countries are transparent on this matter, and it has lost its strength as the conflict progresses”.

This comparative opacity is countered“So we don’t know what Sebastien Leghorn is based on.”, laments François Heisbourg, Special Adviser at the Foundation for Strategic Research. The minister’s office was contacted by franceinfo when reminded “France does not announce everything it gives”Returns the partially encrypted list.

Thus France supplies Ukraine “Equipment for Fighters” etc “Helmets, bulletproof vests, night vision binoculars, war rations, NBC clothing, medical equipment”, Ammunition of all calibres, anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons (2 Crotale surface-to-air missile batteries), armored VAB and transport vehicles, fuel, artillery including 18 Caesar guns, unit rocket launchers (LRU) and 155 mm TRF1 guns.

Unlike countries like the US, the gap between promises and actual deliveries can be significant. “France delivers what it promises” He points to Pierre Haroche as confirmation of the minister’s views JDD. However, this good behavior is not enough to keep aid-giving countries at the top, the researcher warns.

Training and logistical support

Additionally, Paris provides support in terms of training and maintenance. A favor “Hard to assess, but critical on the battlefield”, assures Stephen Adrant, a consultant specializing in military weapons. This allows France to provide “Functional Skills” For Ukraine: training in the use of weapons, logistics, provision of spare parts for repairs. In the field of training, the Ministry of Armed Forces has announced that France has trained 400 Ukrainian specialists and will train another 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers.

Finally, French aid includes a financial component. In November, the National Assembly decided to allocate almost 200 million euros Special fund for military equipment of Ukraine. In addition, France is the largest contributor to EU mutual funds, according to Sébastien Legourneau.

“It’s a financial fund that allows each country to pay back their arms donations to Ukraine,” Pierre Haroch explains. Paris is funding the fund with 550 million euros out of a total of three billion euros. However, this contribution does not exist “Exceptional”, infuriates international security professor. As with all funding defined at EU level, France contributes to its GDP and therefore only fulfills its institutional obligations.

France represents 2% of military aid sent to Ukraine

What do the French deliveries represent compared to the total delivered to Ukraine? About “2%, on tons of equipment“, François Heisburg, who went to Poland, where military aid was stored before being sent to the Ukrainian army. In which France, according to the researcher, ranks 8th in the supply of weapons.

A figure that would make the Ministry of Defense jump: “We are not at war with rates, Sébastien defends Lecorne’s cabinet. We respond to specific needs that allow counterattacks.”

“All we have to do is give the Ukrainians 18 Caesar guns to make a difference on the ground and allow them to have strategic victories on the ground.”

French Ministry of the Armed Forces

At franceinfo

“Ukraine would not have spent the summer without the Caesar guns, the American Himars managed to stop the Russian attack by destroying its artillery and especially by destroying its ammunition depots”, Stéphane Audrand is abundant.

In addition, the expert believes, the financial value of items recorded in classifications is not necessarily a good indicator for measuring the impact of weapons delivered on the ground. “France Delivers ‘Old Things’, VABs”, Armored transport vehicles “Over 40”. “I think they are worth the scrap price at net book value, however Ukrainians are happy with these vehicles because they are old, easy to handle and very mobile”Underlines expert in weapons.

France pays less than Poland

But the importance of French support on the battlefields is less than given, if so significant. “Great Powers”, François Heisbourg believes. “Americans, Poles Give Too Much Effort” to France. Poland is an example, according to Hinge Company (PDF in English, page 4), sold nearly 240 of its tanks to Ukraine, or 30% of its stock. The US has pledged to supply Kiev with 126 155mm howitzers, ten times the number of French guns.

with “2% equipment supplies, you can’t weigh long during a collision”Piece Francois Heisberg. And if Caesar guns, “Comes at a Crucial Moment”would have been “Exceptionally useful”, “18 units cannot change the course of a war”The expert concludes.

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