December 09
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France has been repeatedly criticized for its lower level of military support to Ukraine compared to its allies, but officials and experts say the controversy is based on the country's capabilities rather than political will, AFP reports.

According to an August ranking by the Kiel Institute for World Economics, France's military aid to Ukraine of 233 million euros ranks it 11th in the world, well behind the United States (25 billion euros), Britain (four billion euros) and Poland (1.8 billion euros).

Even neighboring Germany has provided more than four times as much aid as France.

Such ratings do not fully reflect reality, the defense ministry told AFP, because they take into account only what was promised and not what was actually delivered.

Moreover, some countries may list only arms deliveries as military aid, while others may include the cost of training or ammunition transportation.

Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu, in an address to MPs, noted Paris' relative caution in helping Kyiv, stating that France has supported Ukraine from the beginning.

Commonly known deliveries include anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, armored personnel carriers, fuel, infantry equipment and towed artillery pieces.

France also sent 18 truck-mounted CAESAR cannons that can deliver a high-precision salvo at ranges of up to 40 kilometers and change position before the enemy can detect them and return fire.

President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday at a European meeting in Prague that France plans to supply more mobile artillery pieces.

Further arms deliveries to Ukraine could be made under Danish order, a source familiar with the deal told AFP.

Initial fears that the arms shipments might make Russia view Ukraine's supporters as a party to the war have dissipated, said Silvia Matelli, deputy director of the French Institute for International and Strategic Studies (IRIS).

That said, the fact remains that the weapons we have here, ready to use, are weapons that should provide our national defense, Matelli said.

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