First French troops en route to Ukraine — MP

Kiev has already prepared necessary paperwork for foreign instructors on its military sites

The first group of French military instructors are coming to Ukraine, high-profile Ukrainian politician Aleksey Goncharenko said on Friday.

His statement comes just days after Ukraine’s top commander Aleksandr Syrsky announced that had authorized the presence of the French personnel in the country.

“My sources informed me that the first group of French instructors is already on its way to Ukraine,” Goncharenko, a member of the Ukrainian parliament and a delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on Friday evening.

NATO boots on the ground is a contentious issue inside the US-led alliance, whose members maintain that they are not parties to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Moscow, meanwhile, has said that it views Ukraine’s Western backers as direct participants, stressing that Western-supplied weapons are being used to strike targets on Russian soil.

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First French troops en route to Ukraine — MP
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In February, French President Emmanuel Macron said that he could not rule out the possibility of NATO member states sending troops to Ukraine in the future, although French officials soon clarified that he meant non-combat personnel. Macron later argued that NATO should adopt a policy of “strategic ambiguity” towards Russia. The French leader has been working behind the scenes to forge a coalition of countries willing to dispatch trainers to Kiev, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

Syrsky, who was made Ukraine’s top general in February, said on Monday that he had signed the papers allowing instructors from France to visit Kiev’s training facilities and “familiarize themselves with their infrastructure and personnel,” and had notified French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu.

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Moscow has warned that any additional military aid to Kiev amounts to serious escalation. Western military personnel are already active in Ukraine and “have been there for a long time,” President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday. “They are [foreign] specialists under the guise of mercenaries,” he told the press. He said that the deployment of Western forces to Ukraine would be “another step towards a serious conflict in Europe and a global conflict.”

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