Macron is not going to Kyiv as Mirage aircraft promised to Ukraine stay in France

Ukraine will not receive Mirage 2000D from France. Macron refuses to come to Kyiv

Emmanuel Macron postponed his visit to Ukraine after Kyiv demanded Paris should transfer Mirage 2000D attack aircraft to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

French President Emmanuel Macron's visit to Kyiv was scheduled for February 13 and 14. The visit was canceled for security reasons, at least it was announced so.

In Kyiv, Macron was to sign a bilateral agreement on "security guarantees." According to that agreement, Paris was supposed to transfer more modern weapons to Ukraine, including long-range cruise missiles.

Kyiv's request for 12 Mirage 2000D attack aircraft is the main requirement for Ukraine's security guarantees, reports. Ukrainian officials made the delivery of those combat aircraft the only item on the agenda of Macron's visit, the website said.

Paris was not ready to guarantee the transfer of the Mirage 2000D, and Macron's visit was postponed.

The French military against the transfer of Mirage aircraft

There are several reasons for breaking the Mirage promise:

  • Macron wanted to be assured in return that French businesses would be involved in the Ukrainian reconstruction program as it would bring significant benefits to French companies. A narrow, Mirage-only agenda did not suit him;
  • The French Air Force continues to analyse the issue. It appears that there is no agreement with the French Air Force leadership either. This is also a matter of reputation. The Mirage 2000D will have to face Russia's best Sukhoi Su-35 fighters in air combat. Will the French aircraft be able to overcome Russian air defence systems, including mobile platforms such as the Pantsir missile system? This also remains questionable.
  • The Mirage 2000D series is about to be decommissioned. It requires significant logistical support, which is not available in Ukraine. This means that Ukraine will need to find technical specialists in France, build a repair base and logistics for spare parts supplies. France could thus be involved into a conflict with Russia;
  • Paris is unwilling to undertake obligations to finance the deal, but prefers to attract European money from the Peace Fund. Perhaps Paris and Brussels had a disagreement there;

Macron's government is very unpopular in France. Political observers in France say that while Ukraine receives funding, troubled French farmers receive nothing. The last thing Macron needs is to be associated with a humanitarian disaster for promoting Ukraine and ignoring his own realities.

What France can offer Ukraine

France is retiring 20 delta-wing Mirage 2000D aircraft from service.

The two-seat, single-engine supersonic Mirage is fully compatible with SCALP-EG cruise missiles and Hammer guided bombs. The former are already in use in Ukraine, the latter will appear soon. France transferred about 50 SCALP missiles to Ukraine in 2023, and recently promised to provide 40 more. The UK transferred an unspecified number of similar Storm Shadows to the Ukrainian Armed Forces — probably dozens of them.

In January, the UK signed "security guarantees” for Ukraine, which are part of a package of agreements that NATO countries promised to Kyiv at the Vilnius summit.

None of those agreements contain mutual security obligations in the event of an external attack — something that NATO offers in accordance with Articles 4 and 5 of the main Treaty of the alliance.

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Author`s name Lyuba Lulko
Editor Dmitry Sudakov