Ukraine says talks on France sending military instructors ongoing

Kyiv's Defence Ministry made the "clarification" after army chief Oleksandr Syrsky said that the first French military instructors would soon arrive in the war-battered country.

Published - May 28, 2024 05:17 am IST - Kyiv, Ukraine:

Commander in Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi during a meeting.

Commander in Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi during a meeting. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Ukraine on Monday walked back an announcement that French military instructors would soon arrive in the country, saying that it was still in talks with Paris and other allies on the issue.

Kyiv's Defence Ministry made the "clarification" after army chief Oleksandr Syrsky said that the first French military instructors would soon arrive in the war-battered country.

"As of now, we are still in discussions with France and other countries on this," Ukraine's Defence Ministry said in a statement.

It added that it had "begun internal work on the relevant documents on this issue in order not to waste time on coordinating bureaucratic issues when the relevant decision is made."

Mr. Syrsky earlier said that he had "signed the documents that will allow the first French instructors to visit our training centres soon and get acquainted with their infrastructure and personnel."

He made the announcement after he and Defence Minister Rustem Umerov took part in a video call with French Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu.

France's Defence Ministry said the issue was being studied but did not confirm the deployment.

"Training on Ukrainian soil is one of the projects discussed since the conference on support for Ukraine convened by (French President Emmanuel Macron) on February 26," it said.

"Like all projects discussed on this occasion, this continues to be the subject of work with the Ukrainians, in particular to understand their exact needs," it added.

France does not officially have military personnel assisting or training Ukrainian forces in Ukraine.

Macron has repeatedly made comments on possible Western troop deployment to Ukraine, which has been met with fury in Moscow and with unease by France's Western allies.

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