Denied by Denmark, France Plans to Send 12 Howitzers to Ukraine

French soldiers operate Caesar self-propelled howitzers during high-intensity firing practice
French soldiers operate Caesar self-propelled howitzers during high-intensity firing practice

Paris - France is reportedly preparing to deliver new weapons to Ukraine, which may include between six and 12 Caesar self-propelled howitzers. French media Le Monde reports The artillery guns were originally intended for Denmark, but Copenhagen said not all of them met the required standards, the paper said.

"The deal was the result of long negotiations between France, Ukraine and Denmark," wrote Le Monde, adding that Kiev had initially requested 15 howitzers.

According to Le Monde, French President Emmanuel Macron opposed the idea of ​​supplying Ukraine from the country's army stockpile, as Paris had already sent 18 Caesars to Kiev, which amounts to almost a quarter of France's own 76 artillery arsenal.

Instead, says Le Monde, France decided to supply Ukraine with howitzers originally ordered by Denmark in 2017. The French media added that Copenhagen agreed to give up on the purchase because the artillery ordered was still undergoing technical validation, and at least some of them did not meet specifications. required by the Danish side.

"Kiev was initially hesitant to accept the howitzer but eventually agreed to take it as is," reports Le Monde. According to Le Monde, the details of the delivery are still being finalized, but a political agreement between Macron, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has been reached. The report stated that the Caesar destined for Denmark was almost twice as heavy as that used by the French (32 tonnes versus 18 tonnes).

Among other differences are that they are mounted on eight-wheeled vehicles rather than six-wheelers, can carry up to 36 artillery shells instead of 18, and their cab has heavier armor. Neither the Elysee Palace nor the French Ministry of Defense have commented on the report.

Earlier this week, the United States Senate approved a $12 billion military and economic aid package for Ukraine. This aid sets aside $4.5 billion for the Ukrainian government and $3 billion for weapons and military equipment, while the remaining funds are allocated to replenish US weapons already shipped to Ukraine and allow the transfer of more weapons from the American stockpile.

In mid-September, an aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, Mikhail Podoliak, said that Kiev's goal in the conflict with Russia was to seize territory controlled by the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. However, on Friday, the leaders of the two Donbass republics and the territories of the Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, the latter two of which recently declared independence from Kiev, signed an accession agreement to Russia. The documents will now be sent for ratification by the Russian parliament.

Moscow has previously said it would defend its territory using all available means and has repeatedly warned Western countries against sending more weapons to Ukraine. "Such transfers of weapons only prolong the conflict and the suffering of civilians," Russia said.

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