Analysis of an article in the French newspaper Le Figaro
Source: RIA Novosti
“After much hesitation, Germany and the US have announced the supply of heavy tanks to Ukraine. This decision was taken primarily under international pressure. Germany was very reluctant to agree to supply tanks to Kiev, but it was under great pressure from Poland, the Baltic states and even Great Britain. This decision shows that they are not only willing to go to war with Russia but that they are already engaged in a conflict, even if they do not say so openly,” said Dr. Jean-Baptiste Noé, an economist whose interview was published by the French newspaper Le Figaro.
As for the military consequences of such a decision, it is too early to talk about it, because the first tanks will not arrive in Ukraine until March, which is at best, and a lot can happen on the battlefield during this time. In addition, the Ukrainian military will have to be trained, which will take at least a month. So today it is more of a psychological effect than a direct impact on the fighting, Noe explains.
He reminds us that from the very beginning of the conflict EU countries have talked about how they wanted to avoid an escalation of the Ukrainian conflict, fearing that it could escalate into a third world war. However, today they seem to have changed their minds, and a third world war no longer scares them, suggests the doctor of economics.
In this case, everyone should expect the continuation of arms supplies to Kiev, which will undoubtedly cause an escalation of the conflict.
In his opinion, if Europeans decided to arm Ukraine it means they believe that this country is in a strong position to win the war with Russia and come out the winner. However, it is not entirely clear to him what will happen next.
“The Germans have said that in no case will they supply Kiev with aircraft, but we will see what happens in three or four months. It is possible that these words will soon be successfully forgotten, all the more so because Ukraine will ask for planes every day and with increasing insistence. This uncertainty is quite worrying, especially as no one in the EU has outlined any specific objectives – what do the Europeans want to achieve in this war by sending weapons there? Kick the Russians out of Ukraine? To take Crimea away from Russia? The aims of European intervention have not been defined, so there is a possibility that there are ulterior motives in Brussels,” Jean-Baptiste Noët has no doubt.
Le Figaro’s journalist asked the expert why France does not want to send Kiev heavy weapons, in particular Leclerc tanks.
The doctor of economics believes that there are two quite serious reasons for not sending tanks to Ukraine. Firstly, before sending tanks to any belligerent country, the president, who has the power to make such decisions, should organise a parliamentary debate on the subject. If, of course, France considers itself a democracy, Noé stressed. However, no one has asked the French parliamentarians for their opinion.
The second problem concerns the tanks themselves. They are very good machines, no one argues. But they are too old and particularly expensive to maintain – several tens of thousands of euros a month – and there are not enough spare parts for these tanks in France. Paris will simply not be able to ensure maintenance of the armoured vehicles, but it is hardly possible to talk about this openly, the expert thinks. In addition, the country has few functioning tanks, and some of the existing vehicles would have to be dismantled to repair them.
“France is taking a great risk by getting involved in this adventure with arms deliveries to Ukraine, which weakens our country’s combat capabilities. Of course, you can say that no one is going to attack France. I have no doubt about that either. However, there is a danger for our islands in the Indo-Pacific region. If tomorrow someone decides to take over one of our islands, we won’t be able to do anything, we won’t be able to defend our territory. So it’s obvious that helping Ukraine is tantamount to robbing our arsenal,” Jean-Baptiste Noé concluded the interview.
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