Ukrainian defence minister meets French president on Kyiv’s defence needs, Zelensky meets Austrian president on cooperation, aid for Kyiv


Xinhua News

2nd February 2023 – (Kyiv) Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on Wednesday that he met French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss Ukraine’s defence needs.

Describing the conversation as “frank and productive,” Reznikov tweeted that the urgent operational needs of the Ukrainian army were on the agenda.

Reznikov, who arrived in France on Tuesday for a two-day visit, thanked Macron and the French people for their support for Ukraine.

In a separate tweet, the minister said he signed a memorandum with French Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu and the Thales Group on the supply of MG-200 radars for Ukrainian air defenders. The radars, Reznikov said, will help the Ukrainian military to spot enemy drones and missiles, including ballistic missiles.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday met with his visiting Austrian counterpart, Alexander Van der Bellen, to discuss bilateral cooperation and assistance for Kiev, the Ukrainian presidential press service said.

During the talks, Zelensky and Van der Bellen talked about energy, economic and humanitarian cooperation between the two countries, and the development of Ukrainian communities.

“We have also discussed the issues of our political cooperation in Europe and other international platforms,” Zelensky told reporters after the talks.

Zelensky thanked Austria for pushing forward humanitarian ties and providing 200 million euros (about 219 million U.S. dollars) in assistance for Ukraine.

Zelensky also urged Austrian businesses to increase cooperation with their Ukrainian partners on the reconstruction and the modernization of Ukraine’s energy sector.

For his part, Van der Bellen, who arrived in Kiev earlier in the day, said Austria will strongly support the Ukrainian people by all possible means, including through the provision of humanitarian aid.