Analysis: France and Britain’s relationship built on defence co-operation
Training and equipping of Ukrainian forces is an immediate priority.
France considers defence co-operation the cornerstone of its alliance with Britain and made relaunching defence projects a priority of Friday’s summit between prime minister Rishi Sunak and president Emmanuel Macron.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine, insufficient weapons stocks, and the need to prepare for the eventuality of a higher level of conflict, the US “pivot” towards Asia, similar colonial histories and the need to improve relations with the “global south”, are all cited as reasons for stronger defence co-operation.
France and the UK have delivered between a quarter and a third of their land weapons systems to Ukraine.
The war in Ukraine dictates that London and Paris “better co-ordinate their supplies of weapons, their messaging, as well as the complementarity of the UK and EU training missions for the Ukrainian armed forces”, Alice Billon-Galland of Chatham House and Elie Tenenbaum from the French Institute of International Relations (Ifri) wrote in a recent study. They suggest the two capitals should prepare together for the Nato summit in Vilnius in July.
> Read the article on The Irish Times website.