France to deliver anti-air systems to Ukraine in coming weeks - Macron
- Paris under pressure to deliver more weapons to Ukraine
- Source says Paris to deliver Crotale short-range missile system
- Macron says conflict will end with negotiation
PARIS, Oct 12 (Reuters) - France will deliver radar and air defence systems to Ukraine in the coming weeks, in particular to help Ukraine protest itself from drone and missile attacks, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday.
Speaking in an interview on France 2 television, Macron did not give any details on what type of anti-aircraft missiles or how many would be delivered.
A wave of attacks on Ukrainian cities this week has raised the stakes, with Kyiv demanding its partners provide more supplies, including air defence systems - something Paris has been unwilling to do so far.
"This is a new phase of bombing coming from land, sea, air and drones against essential infrastructure and civilians," Macron said, adding that radar and anti-air missiles would be delivered in the coming weeks to "protect the country from drone and missile attacks."
Paris has previously supplied Mistral shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine. A source aware of the matter said Paris would provide Crotale short-range anti-air missiles, which are used to intercept low-flying missiles and aircraft.
Ukraine's defence ministry posted a video on social media on Wednesday aimed at giving France a gentle nudge to show its love through weapon supplies after repeated criticism that Paris has not been doing enough.
It was not clear whether Wednesday's announcement would change the perception France is not doing enough militarily.
"We cannot deliver as much as the Ukrainians ask for because we need to keep some to protect our eastern flank. We are protecting our national territory," he said.
Macron repeated that he had agreed with Denmark to divert six Caesars howitzer canons it had ordered to Ukraine. The technical details of that transaction have yet to be confirmed, diplomats have said.
France's defence ministry announced on Tuesday that it was boosting its support on NATO's eastern flank by sending more tanks to Romania, Rafale fighter jets to Lithuania and infantry to Estonia. It said nothing about Ukraine.
Macron repeated that he believed that a negotiated settlement between Ukraine and Russia would happen at some point to end the conflict, but it would need to be on Kyiv's terms.
"We are preparing to spend the winter in this context of war," Macron said, adding that he would continue talking to Russian President Vladimir Putin whenever necessary.
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