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War in Ukraine: MPs artificially inflate the price of French military support

On the night of November 7 to 8, French support for Ukraine increased from 1.

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War in Ukraine: MPs artificially inflate the price of French military support

On the night of November 7 to 8, French support for Ukraine increased from 1.693 billion euros (according to the Kiel Institute) to 3.2 billion. An exceptional delivery overlooked? No, the government has decided to change its calculation method. A choice explained, Wednesday, before the committee on national defense and armed forces by deputies Christophe Naegelen (Liot) and Lionel Royer-Perreaut (Renaissance). “For the transfer of equipment, the choice was made to retain for their valuation, the budgetary cost of their replacement,” explains the rapporteurs of a flash mission on French support for Ukraine. “The government considers that this choice is the most relevant and the least susceptible to interpretation. It is the one which best reflects, moreover, France's effort, by valuing what the replacement of the equipment sold costs today,” underlines MP Lionel Royer-Perreaut in his presentation.

“Consequently, when our country gives Ukraine VABs or AMX-10 RCs, they are valued at the cost of their replacement, which takes the form of acquisition of Griffon or Jaguar vehicles,” he says. he as an example. But the price is not the same: an armored front vehicle (VAB), designed in the 1970s, costs around 950,000 euros for its improved version. Far from the million and a half of its successor, the Griffon. As for the replacement for the AMX-10 RC armored reconnaissance vehicle, the Jaguar, its price is estimated at 4 million euros. A calculation method which would therefore allow France to catch up with Poland which delivered 300 T-72 tanks to its Ukrainian neighbor.

“If the Poles adopted the same calculation method, by valuing the price of a Soviet tank from the 1970s at the price of the Korean K2s that replaced them, their contribution would explode. A modern K2 costs around 8.5 million dollars,” underlines Léo Péria-Peigné, researcher at the Center for Security Studies of the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), and arms specialist, who expresses “doubts about the relevance of the method".

According to the report, the cost of the equipment transferred amounts to 1.7 billion euros, with the new calculation method. An amount to which MEPs add that of the training of 7,000 Ukrainian soldiers (300 million euros), as well as the contribution to the European Peace Facility (EFF) of nearly a billion euros and 200 million from support fund for Ukraine. “We must be pro-active in the arguments to counter this type of classification and we are clearly asking for much more up-to-date communication,” explained MP Christophe Naegelen. “We must, as we give and form, quantify it and communicate it, with our own calculation methods.”

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“The rankings do not reflect the whole reality,” said Sébastien Lecornu, Minister of the Armed Forces last October, regretting the methodology of certain institutes, which does not include the financial contribution. The Kiel Institute, in fact, only places France in thirteenth position with 530 million euros in military support. “We must not let people believe that France is not living up to its ambitions,” recalled Lionel Royer-Perreaut, who welcomes an “exercise in government transparency.”

Since the launch of the “special military operation” by Vladimir Putin on February 24, 2022, France has ceded to Ukraine thirty Caesar cannons, around sixty armored front vehicles, several dozen AMX 10 RCs, but also 155 mm TRF1 cannons, Mistral surface-to-air missiles, or Crotale anti-aircraft batteries. “Basically, all of these materials sent will not have a significant impact on operations. At best, they will at least complement the plethora of equipment delivered by the Americans and the British,” underlined, to Le Figaro, an expert closely following these questions.

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