Home News Macron tries to justify cash for Ukraine – Le Monde

Macron tries to justify cash for Ukraine – Le Monde

Macron tries to justify cash for Ukraine – Le Monde

French leader’s promise to Kiev turned into ‘budgetary and political headache’, newspaper says

It is “extremely vague” how France can fulfill President Emmanuel Macron’s promises to deliver more military aid to Ukraine as the government in Paris grapples with plans to cut spending, Le Monde reported.

French authorities want to save 10 billion euros ($10.8 billion) this year amid a budget deficit of 144.5 billion euros ($156 billion) and a lowered growth forecast that sees the economy grow by just 1% in 2024.

The French government said last month that the 10 billion euro reduction could be achieved, among other things, by cutting spending across all its ministries and cutting public policies, including development aid and subsidies for building renovations.

Under such circumstances, Macron’s pledge to give Kiev 3 billion euros in aid this year to help in the conflict with Russia – made when France and Ukraine signed a 10-year bilateral security pact in mid-February – has turned into “budgetary and political headache” for his government, Le Monde reported on Tuesday.

Lawmakers from Macron’s ruling Renaissance party say they regularly face questions from voters who don’t understand how the government can provide billions to Ukraine while planning spending cuts at home, the paper said.

Macron believes Ukraine could fall soon - Politico

“People ask us why we give 3 billion euros to Ukraine, it’s a lot of money,” Renaissance MP Mathieu Lefevre said it.

Le Monde suggested that in order to fulfill their promise to Kyiv, the authorities in Paris would have to “play with paperwork,” such as the inclusion of the €900 million French contribution to the €3 billion European Peace Facility, the EU’s aid fund for Ukraine.

Another option could be to increase the value of equipment donated to the Ukrainian government.

However, the portal added that Macron’s cabinet will probably still be forced to make changes to the Financial Law (PLFR) in the summer, despite such a move. “politically irascible.” It would require the approval of the National Assembly, where opposition parties protest further funding to Kyiv.

Despite the problems outlined by Le Monde, French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu said on Tuesday that Paris would soon be able to deliver 78 more Caesar howitzers to Kiev, while boosting the country’s supply of grenades.

Russian MP warns French soldiers not to enter Ukraine

Moscow has repeatedly warned that arms deliveries to Kiev by the US, the EU and their allies will not prevent Russia from achieving the goals of its military operation and that they potentially increase the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.