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 Friday, February 23 2024 13:29
Marianna Mkrtchyan

France`s priority is to help protect Armenian civilian population if  Armenia is attacked - Sebastien Lecornu

France`s priority is to help protect Armenian civilian population if  Armenia is attacked - Sebastien Lecornu

ArmInfo.Defense is the most key factor, and the conflicts that have taken place in recent times have led us to this conclusion, French Minister of the Armed Forces, Sebastien Lecornu stated on February 23 in Yerevan at a joint press conference with the Minister of Defense of Armenia Suren Papikyan to clarify whether the French side plans to increase the supply of defense weapons to Armenia, including air defense.

The minister said that he had extensive discussions with the Armenian  minister on this matter.

According to him, in the most difficult situations, defensive weapons  make it possible to protect the battlefield, for example in the case  of Ukraine.

"This makes it possible to protect civilian infrastructure, civilians  and important civilian infrastructure. This is especially true for  energy facilities, airports, and transport. There is the issue of  protection from both drones and long-range missiles. We are carrying  out important work to reform our missile base to better protect our  sky. We plan to provide protection with SAMP/T systems. As for  Armenia, the more we develop our defense base, the more opportunities  for Armenian-French cooperation arise," Lecornu said. 

According to him, today, for example, with Papikyan they discussed  issues related to missiles for the Mistral anti-aircraft missile  systems. 

"I won't reveal a secret. These are installations that you can learn  to use very quickly. And we have already discussed issues for  providing the first stage of protection. For the second stage of  protection, we will offer medium-level protection. We talked with  Papikyan about this, and I just imagine the capabilities of France as  in the field of weapons and training. But there is also a question of  production. As I already said, there is the highest protection system  SAMP / T. In particular, we are talking about Thales radars. And soon  the Ground Master (GM) 200 radars will be delivered," Lecornu said,  stressing it is defensive weapons. 

At the same time, the minister noted that the best way to ensure that  air defense is not involved is that "no one attacks anyone." Lecornu  stressed that France's priority is to help protect the Armenian  civilian population in the event that Armenia becomes the victim of  an attack.

When asked to clarify whether France is ready to begin production of  weapons on the territory of Armenia, Lecornu expressed his conviction  that this question should be asked to the Armenian side.

In this vein, he drew attention to the fact that the French Armed  Forces have historically developed according to the model formed by  Charles de Gaulle and are based on their own sovereign base.

"That is, everything that we buy and use in our armed forces is  produced in France. This is an exceptional model in Europe, since we  have industrial autonomy, strategy and can decide on arms export  issues ourselves. This is our autonomy, which allows us to have  independent diplomacy "And one of the decisions taken by the French  president is to provide assistance to the Armenian Ministry of  Defense. Today, the priority is the supply of weapons and retraining  of personnel," the minister said, adding that in interaction with the  Armenian side, the priority will be the operational needs of the  Armenian side.  

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