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UKRAINE

Macron says France to ‘intensify’ military, humanitarian aid to Ukraine

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday that France would "intensify" its supply of military and humanitarian support following a conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.

macron and zelenksy
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (R) and French President Emmanuel Macron shake hands after a press conference following their meeting in Kyiv on February 8, 2022. (Photo by Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP)

Zelensky thanked France for “large-scale military shipments that contribute to the Ukrainian resistance,” Macron said, adding “that this support will continue to intensify, as will the humanitarian assistance provided by France”.

“The mission of French experts contributing to the collection of evidence to fight against impunity and allow the work of international justice concerning crimes committed in the context of the Russian aggression will continue,” he said.

The United States, France, the Czech Republic and other allies have provided Kyiv with hundreds of long-range artillery pieces to help it counter Moscow’s offensive in the Donbas.

Paris is sending its ultra-modern Caesar canons.

The French presidency said on Saturday that aid to Ukraine amounted to “more than 615 tonnes of equipment, including medical equipment, generators for hospitals, food aid, shelter aid and emergency vehicles”.

READ ALSO: Why France is leading the EU in seizing Russian assets

Newly re-elected Macron said he wanted to “work actively during his second term to restore Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, always maintaining close coordination with its European partners and allies”.

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UKRAINE

France ships seeds to Ukraine in bid to avert global food crisis

France has shipped 31 tonnes of seeds to Ukraine in a bid to avert a food crisis stemming from Russia's invasion, the French foreign ministry said on Friday.

France ships seeds to Ukraine in bid to avert global food crisis

The aid from France, the EU’s biggest agriculture producer, aims to soften “the disastrous impact of the Russian invasion on Ukraine’s food security” by allowing the potential harvest of 260,000 tonnes of food, the ministry said.

The shipment includes seeds for beets, carrots, cabbage and tomatoes.

France also supplied Ukraine with 600 tonnes of seed potatoes in April and May to counter planting disruptions amid the fighting.

ANALYSIS Is France self-sufficient for food?

The Russian naval blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports has stopped grain shipments from the world’s fourth-largest exporter of wheat and corn, raising the spectre of shortages and hunger in low-income countries.

Cereal prices have soared on global markets, and French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday that France was assisting in transporting Ukrainian grain by truck via Romania.

The Ukrainian government says 20 to 25 million tonnes are currently blocked and could start to rot if they are not shipped soon.

The UN has warned of a “hurricane of hunger” — mainly in African countries that import more than half of their wheat from Ukraine or Russia, also a major producer.

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