At their meeting in Paris on 14 May 2023, the Presidents of Ukraine and the French Republic issued the following declaration.
The Presidents of Ukraine and France reiterated their unequivocal condemnation of Russia’s ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine. Ukraine has shown remarkable determination in exercising its inherent right to self-defence against this unprovoked and unjustified attack. Russia must immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. France and Ukraine call specifically on Russia to withdraw from the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), of which the irresponsible seizure and militarization by Russian armed forces is causing a grave threat.
France remains unwavering in its commitment to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. France commends the determination and courage of the Ukrainian people and armed forces and acknowledges their significant contribution to the security of the European continent and beyond. France will continue its political, financial, humanitarian and military support to Ukraine for as long as it takes – individually and through international cooperation within the European Union, NATO, the United Nations and in other formats. By defending the security of the European continent, France, Ukraine and other partners are also safeguarding the rules-based international order.
The military support provided by France since the beginning of the war in order to allow Ukraine to defend itself continues, as new packages are being prepared, constantly taking into account the most urgent and immediate needs of Ukraine to strengthen its defence capabilities. France is aiming at providing full capacities in all areas. In the coming weeks, France will train and equip several battalions with tens of armored vehicles and light tanks including AMX-10RC. Besides, France is focusing its effort in supporting Ukraine’s air defense capacities in order to defend its population against Russian strikes. In addition to its national contribution, the French Republic is actively involved in the measures of the European Union and NATO in the military assistance to Ukraine and in the training of Ukrainian soldiers.
Beyond the military assistance, France has been providing Ukraine with civilian assistance, including financial, humanitarian and emergency support. In particular, France has sent to Ukraine two mobile DNA laboratories to strengthen Ukraine's capacity to prosecute war crimes. This assistance will continue to grow.
France supports Ukraine’s initiative for a just and sustainable peace based on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Ukrainian Peace Formula includes a variety of important objectives, many of which France is already working on. France expresses its support to the Ukrainian Peace Formula and stands ready to cooperate with Ukraine to ensure as wide international participation as possible in a Global Peace Summit to be convened in the coming months on the basis of the Ukraine Peace Formula proposal and other possible good faith proposals.
Ukraine and France are determined to fight against impunity, and underline their firm commitment to bringing to justice those responsible for war crimes and other atrocity crimes committed in connection with Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. France is participating in on-going international efforts, in co-operation with Ukraine, to ensure accountability through the establishment of an appropriate mechanism for prosecuting the crime of aggression. Broad international support is key in this regard, since it provides maximum international legitimacy while ensuring the prosecution of the political leadership. Therefore, while participating in the Core Group on achieving accountability for the crime of aggression against Ukraine, France encourages other countries to join and to build international support for the creation of an ad hoc tribunal. France welcomes the agreement on the new International Centre for Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine (ICPA) in The Hague, and looks forward to its launch as soon as possible.
Ukraine and France reiterate their support for the investigations of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, which are a step towards accountability, and have taken note of the court’s arrest warrants. France has provided additional support to the International Criminal Court in order to enhance its capacities in the framework of the war of Russia against Ukraine.
Ukraine and France agree on the need to increase collective pressure on Russia through further sanctions to weaken Russia’s ability to continue its illegal war of aggression. Furthermore, they agree on the need to strengthen efforts to ensure the effective implementation of sanctions and to prevent and counter circumvention in and by third countries.
Ukraine and France will continue to work together with others to develop mechanisms to provide compensation for losses, injuries and damages caused by the Russian aggression. To this end, the international register of damage, to be presented at the Reykjavik Summit of the Council of Europe on 16-17 May 2023, is an important milestone. Our efforts will continue to explore appropriate options for the financing of a compensation mechanism, including a sound legal basis for the use of frozen and immobilized Russian assets, to support Ukraine’s reconstruction and for the purposes of reparation.
Ukraine and France remain also determined to support countries suffering from the consequences of the Russian war, notably to reduce the consequences of the food crisis. In this regard, France emphasizes the importance of Ukraine’s consistent efforts to continue the Black Sea Grain Initiative and launch the Grain from Ukraine Humanitarian Program, aimed at enhancing global food security. Ukraine highly appreciates France’s support for the Grain from Ukraine Humanitarian Program and encourages further strengthening of the relevant support.
Ukraine welcomes the fact that France organized an international conference on December 13, which led to the establishment of the "Paris mechanism" for better coordination of emergency aid. France, together with international organizations and partners, is committed to participate in the recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine after the war. Already now, it is important to lay the ground for an ambitious and long-term engagement that will create opportunities and enable the Ukrainian people to rebuild their country. Engaging all relevant partners, including private companies and internationally, with the aim of securing the financial support, investments and knowledge needed, is essential to ensure a prosperous future for Ukraine.
The future of Ukraine and its people lies within the European family. The European Union has already recognized the European perspective of Ukraine and granted Ukraine the status of candidate country. France strongly supports Ukraine in its reform efforts and in meeting before the end of 2023 the required conditions, looking forward to the European Commission’s report, with a view to start accession negotiations. Ukraine and France call on the EU to continue supporting the country in all fields. Regarding military support, they welcome the recent agreements aiming at delivering more ammunition and missiles to Ukraine, notably through the expansion of the European industrial base. Furthermore, Ukraine has a key role to play within the newly founded European Political Community and will work towards the success of the Chisinau Summit, together with France and Moldova.
In the NATO framework, France continues to focus on the immediate support to Ukraine. France continues its strong support to bolster Ukraine’s capacity to defend itself, and recalls that Ukraine has the right to choose its own security arrangements. France fully supports the NATO-Ukraine Commission as a venue to further increase and expand the ongoing cooperation to help fulfil Ukraine’s path towards the Euro-Atlantic family, consistent with the Bucharest Declaration. Ukraine and France look forward to addressing these issues at the NATO Summit in Vilnius in July 2023.