The heavy artillery is coming in as France and Poland begin a trickle heavy weapons supplied to Ukraine. French 155mm CAESAR howitzers and thousands of shells are making their way to Kyiv following an announcement last Friday by the French government. MILAN anti-tank guided missiles were also reportedly being sent to Ukraine.

Prior to the election win of French President Emmanuel Macron, he disclosed to the regional newspaper Ouest-France that an unknown number of “substantial equipment” were agreed upon to be sent to Kyiv as it repels Kremlin forces in eastern Ukraine.

“We are delivering significant equipment, from Milan (anti-tank missiles) to Caesar (howitzers),” Macron said. “I think we have to continue on this route.” Always with the red line that we will not become parties to the conflict.”

However, like other nations who donated weapons to Ukraine, he stated that his “red line” was not to become official parties in the conflict. The French remain major players in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with Macron having direct contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin. France also has nearly half a billion dollars in contracts to provide weapons and equipment to Russia along with other EU member countries. In this war, EU member nations like France, Germany, and Italy are in the uniquely awkward position of arming both sides in the conflict.

Following the interview, French Defense Secretary Florence Parly announced via Twitter that the French government was indeed sending “several Caesar artillery guns and thousands of shells” and that the French people continue to stand with the Ukrainian people.