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Updated January 17th, 2024 at 11:03 IST

Cannot Let Russia Win: Macron Pledges Dozens of Missiles & Hundreds of Bombs for Ukrainian 'Friends'

"We cannot let Russia win," so the French President plans to send over 40 long-range missiles and "several hundred bombs" to Ukraine.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Macron has revealed plans to strengthen Ukraine's defence capabilities by supplying additional dozens of long-range cruise missiles and hundreds of bombs
Macron has revealed plans to strengthen Ukraine's defence capabilities by supplying additional dozens of long-range cruise missiles and hundreds of bombs | Image:AP
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Paris: French President Emmanuel Macron has revealed plans to strengthen Ukraine's defence capabilities by supplying additional dozens of long-range cruise missiles and hundreds of bombs. During a comprehensive two-hour news conference, Macron emphasised the importance of preventing a Russian victory, asserting, "We cannot let Russia win, and we must not do that." He  underlined his commitment by announcing his upcoming visit to Ukraine next month.

‘Ukrainian Friends are Waiting for Bombs’

Macron, addressing a mix of domestic and international issues, outlined France's intention to provide approximately 40 long-range missiles and "several hundred bombs that our Ukrainian friends are waiting for." The French President highlighted the global consequences of a potential Russian triumph, stating it would undermine the established world order.

Despite the focus on international affairs, a significant portion of the press conference delved into domestic challenges. Macron articulated extensive plans to fortify France's preparedness for global crises, asserting that the country possesses “all the aces to succeed.”

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The conference represented Macron's latest attempt to revitalise his presidency following domestic challenges, including debates over retirement age and immigration control, as well as widespread riots triggered by a fatal police shooting last year. Seeking a fresh start in a year when France hosts the Summer Olympics in Paris, Macron recently appointed a new, notably young prime minister, Gabriel Attal, along with new ministers.

With Attal and the Cabinet members in attendance, Macron discussed various issues, offering insights into daily life matters such as healthcare costs, screen time for children, education, and efforts to boost France's birth rate. Despite lacking blockbuster announcements in the first hour, Macron expressed his expectations for his new government, anticipating "daring, efficiency, action."

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Macron's Minority and Legislative Hurdles

The timing of the evening news conference aimed to reach a broad audience, with the event broadcast live on multiple national television channels. Macron, displaying an optimistic and determined tone, acknowledged the evolving global landscape marked by conflicts and crises but remained convinced that France has the necessary elements for success.

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As Macron enters his second and final presidential term, his minority in parliament poses a challenge to maintaining relevance and avoiding a lame-duck status. Unable to run for a third consecutive term in 2027, Macron faces the task of navigating legislative challenges with no parliamentary majority, relying on negotiations with opposition lawmakers and special constitutional powers.

Recent opinion polls indicate rising concerns among the French populace, focusing on issues like inflation, struggling healthcare and education systems, and security. Macron's government, having passed two major laws last year, faces ongoing criticism, particularly regarding the retirement age adjustment and the immigration bill, seen by some as leaning too rightward. Macron defended the immigration bill, clarifying that it was not a victory for the far-right.

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Published January 17th, 2024 at 10:45 IST

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