Rustem Umerov canceled his visit to France, where the launch of the artillery coalition is scheduled, and the reason has become known
Ukraine's Defense Minister Rustem Umerov has canceled his visit to France for the launch of the artillery coalition scheduled for January 18, citing "security reasons."
However, he will participate in the event online, according to a press release from the French Ministry of the Armed Forces reported by Le Monde.
The artillery coalition, initiated by France and the United States, aims to enhance Kyiv's capabilities in its conflict with Russia. It involves 23 nations committed to joining forces for short and long-term support, ensuring Ukraine has artillery suitable for counteroffensives and future military needs.
French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecorneuil and Rustem Umerov planned to visit Nexter's industrial facilities in Bourges, where Caesar self-propelled artillery systems are produced, on the afternoon of January 18. Subsequently, they were scheduled to go to the MBDA missile ship in Sele-saint-Denis.
Although the Ukrainian Defense Minister canceled the visit for security reasons, the French ministry stated that he would participate in the coalition via video conference.
The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine clarified that the Ukrainian delegation, led by Deputy Minister Ivan Havryliuk, represented Ukraine at the opening of the Artillery Coalition in Paris on January 18. They were informed in advance about the potential postponement of the Defense Minister's visit due to his participation in the Supreme Commander-in-Chief's meeting on January 17.
Umerov remotely participated in the event's opening via video, and teams from the Ukrainian and French ministries are working on rescheduling the visit.
As previously reported, the French defense industry agreed to manufacture 78 Caesar self-propelled artillery systems for the Ukrainian Armed Forces, with Ukraine contributing some of its resources to expedite the process.