VILNIUS, July 11 (Reuters) – France has announced its decision to supply long-range SCALP missiles to Ukraine, following Britain’s lead. This move will enable Ukrainian forces to strike Russian troops and supply dumps located deep behind the front lines.
French President Emmanuel Macron, speaking at a summit of the 31-member NATO alliance in Lithuania, stated that the increased military aid is aimed at supporting Ukraine’s counteroffensive.
“I have decided to increase deliveries of weapons and equipment to provide the Ukrainians with the capability to strike deep within enemy territory,” he said.
Macron did not disclose the exact number of missiles that will be sent. However, a French diplomatic source revealed that approximately 50 SCALP missiles are under discussion. Another source, familiar with the matter, mentioned that some missiles have already been delivered to Ukraine.
Ukraine has been requesting longer-range missiles for several months, but the United States, its primary supplier, has yet to approve the supply.
In May, Britain announced its intention to supply the Franco-British missile, known as the Storm Shadow and produced by MBDA. The French version, called SCALP, has a range of approximately 250 km (155 miles).
Macron emphasized that the missile delivery aligns with France’s policy of assisting Ukraine in defending its territory. This implies that Paris has received assurances from Kyiv that the missiles will not be fired into Russia.