At a news conference in the Hague on Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron said France is considering sending warplanes to Ukraine, adding “nothing is excluded” as long as certain conditions are met. Macron claimed such a move would not lead to further escalation of the conflict.
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called Macron’s claims “absurd” at a press briefing on Wednesday. She stressed that Russia strongly condemns “the increasingly aggressive and bellicose rhetoric of Western officials, who have not been shy about making loud statements on the Ukrainian conflict lately. I understand them. They feel trapped in their own position and their lack of arguments to explain to their own citizens what they have done, in particular to the European continent. Hence all the crying and shouting, trying to find some sort of explanation for what they are doing.”
Zakharova: “I refuse to believe that a grown man can have such logic”
“We’ve paid close attention to the words of French President Macron, who, responding to a question about the possible supply of aircraft to Ukraine, said: ‘Nothing is forbidden in principle, provided that it will be useful, in particular, for the Ukrainian armed forces, will not lead to an escalation of the conflict and strikes on Russian territory, will not weaken the defense capability of France itself.’ Forgive me for saying so, but this is absurd,” Zakharova told reporters. “Sorry, but Paris’s readiness to supply Kiev with fighter jets was confirmed by the French Defense Minister [Sebastien Lecornu] during a visit to Ukraine on January 28.”
“Does the French president think that supplying the Kiev regime with arms, heavy weapons, and aircraft for combat operations will not escalate the situation? I refuse to believe that a grown man can have such logic,” the Russian diplomat added. “Such statements only increase the already insatiable appetite of Zelensky’s regime, which, by shelling hospitals and massacring civilians, has clearly demonstrated that injecting Western military equipment – how did Mr. Macron put it? – will not lead to an escalation of the conflict. Well, of course, they ‘give’ peace. Obviously, these planes are going to be used to drop cookies and candy, right? I have a different feeling.”
Defense analysts say that France would send an older model of its Mirage jets to Ukraine if Macron opts to supply Zelensky with combat aircraft. France retired 14 Mirage 2000C jets in June, so giving them to Ukraine would not degrade French military capabilities. But French officials clearly are not taking into account the serious nature of such a move and the damage it will inflict on Ukrainian civilians who are being used as cannon fodder by the regime in Kiev.
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