France to step up help for Ukraine in ‘all forms:’ Government

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France on Thursday pledged to reinforce its support to Ukraine, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said after a government crisis meeting chaired by President Emmanuel Macron, who is due to address the French nation later in the day.

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“Following Russia’s decision to wage war on Ukraine, President convened a Defense Council this morning to take stock,” the Elysee said, adding that the president was due to hold an address shortly.

In a separate statement, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that France will deepen its support to Ukraine “in all its forms” without further specifying whether or not this could include military means.

“This choice of war is a brutal violation of international law. It will have immediate and massive consequences and a severe cost”, said Le Drian.

Russian forces fired missiles at several cities in Ukraine and landed troops on its coast on Thursday, officials and media said, after President Vladimir Putin authorized what he called a special military operation in the east.

The French presidential palace earlier said Macron had spoken via mobile phone to his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiyy, who had asked for multiple interventions in support of his country.

Zelenskiyy said Putin wanted to destroy the Ukrainian state.

European Union leaders will discuss new, tough sanctions on Russia at an emergency meeting later on Thursday in reaction to its “barbaric attack” on Ukraine, the EU said.

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