Ukraine's defence minister cancels trip to France for 'security reasons'

Rustem Umerov, Ukrainian Defence Minister

© APA | Rustem Umerov, Ukrainian Defence Minister

# 18 January 2024 11:13 (UTC +04:00)

Ukrainian Defence Minister Rustem Umerov cancelled his scheduled visit to France on Thursday "for security reasons", the French Ministry of Armed Forces announced in a statement on Wednesday, APA reports citing France 24.

Umerov will meet with his French counterpart Sébastien Lecornu via videoconference on Thursday instead. The two are expected to discuss the launch of an "artillery coalition" aimed at strengthening Kyiv's capabilities against Russia.

This coalition, led by France and the United States, is one of the components of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group (UDCG, also known as the Ramstein group), which brings together more than 50 countries supporting Kyiv in its war against Russia.

Lecornu and Umerov had planned to visit Nexter's industrial sites in Bourges on Thursday afternoon, where Caesar self-propelled howitzers, favoured by Kyiv, are produced. They were also scheduled to visit the missile manufacturer MBDA in Selles-Saint-Denis, a municipality located on the eastern edge of Paris.

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