Macron tells Zelenskiy: French arms deliveries to Ukraine will intensify

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron told his Ukrainian counterpart on Tuesday that French arms sales to Ukraine would be stepped up in the coming days and said France was ready to respond to additional aid calls, the Elysee said.
"(Macron) confirmed that arms shipments from France will continue and increase in intensity in the coming days and weeks," the Elysee presidential office said in a statement after Macron spoke by phone with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
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France last week delivered 13 vehicles for emergency services and provided 800 tons of humanitarian aid since Russia began invading Ukraine in late February.
The Elysee statement said both presidents spoke of security guarantees that France could provide to Ukraine as part of an international settlement that would respect Ukraine's territorial integrity.
The two leaders also discussed ways to enable Ukraine to resume blocked grain exports "on which a large part of the world depends".
Macron also said that Ukraine's EU application, tabled in recent weeks, will be considered by EU members at a summit in June, the statement added.
And he reiterated an idea he floated last week of creating a new "political community" outside the EU to facilitate Ukraine's integration.
Zelenskyy has noted the speed with which Ukraine submitted its EU application and called for a speedy agreement on granting membership - usually a process that stretches over several years.
Presenting his proposal last week, Macron dampened hopes for quick membership for the former Soviet state, saying the process would take decades.
Russia this week opposed Ukraine's bid to join the EU, saying it would amount to a bid for NATO membership.
(Reporting by Tassilo Hummel; Editing by Edmund Blair, Ron Popeski and Sandra Maler)
Emmanuel Macron
President of France

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