First French military instructors to travel to Ukraine soon

Ukraine’s army chief Oleksandr Syrsky said on Monday that the first French military instructors would soon arrive in the war-battered country.

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

“I have already signed the documents that will allow the first French instructors to visit our training centres soon and get acquainted with their infrastructure and personnel,” Syrsky said on social media.

“I welcome the initiative of France to send instructors to Ukraine to train Ukrainian servicemen,” he added.

Contacted by AFP, France’s defence ministry said the issue was being studied but did not confirm the deployment of instructors.

“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, met with fury in Moscow.