Russia-Ukraine war: Australia and France to supply Ukraine with artillery shells
Key points: France and Australia have signed a partnership to supply ammunition to Ukraine. The meeting comes amid a thaw in relations between Australia and France. Several thousand 155-millimeter shells will be produced for Ukraine. Australia will work with France to supply ammunition for Ukraine’s war effort, in the latest sign relations between the two countries are on the mend. But one expert warns that the deal, which will send several thousand rounds of 155-millimeter ammunition to the front, is a drop in the ocean as Ukraine defends itself against Russian aggression. Appearing with their French counterparts in Paris on Monday, Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Foreign Minister Richard Marles said the munitions would be produced as part of a “growing and deepening” relationship between the two countries. The visit comes six months after, as he tries to heal a rift caused by .”It forms part of the ongoing level of support that both France and Australia are offering to Ukraine to make sure that Ukraine is able to stay in this conflict, and be able to see it resolved on his own terms,” Mr Marles said.
“This is a multi-million dollar project and it represents a new collaboration between the Australian and French defense industries, and we are really proud today to be able to make that announcement.”
French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu said several thousand shells would be produced, with Australia supplying the gunpowder and French firm Nexter producing the ammunition,” Lecornu said.Sam Roggeveen, Lowy Institute director of international security, played down the significance of the development, stressing that ministers traveling for international meetings “always like to announce something new.” produce… [when the] Ukrainian army uses several thousand rounds of ammunition in a day in the current war,” he told SBS News.
“So on the surface it doesn’t seem like a big effort. But I’m sure as far as the Ukrainians are concerned, every little bit helps.”
‘Broomed by the relationship’
Labor has made repairing ties a priority since the May 2022 federal election, with Mr. Albanian who leaves for Paris a month after taking office to promise a relationship built on “trust, respect and honesty”. And Mr Roggeveen said that this week’s visit did confirm the friendship. “reset” since reaching a nadir under the former Coalition government.” A change of leadership has allowed a new broom to be swept through the relationship, and the submarine decision to be put behind us, behind both countries,” did he mr. Marles also seemed keen to claim an improvement in relations, saying the meeting was held on a “first name basis, with a high degree of warmth”. French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna referred to tensions in the past.
“This is the first time that our consultations have taken place at this level – in the so-called 2+2 format – since an incident that I will not return to,” she said.
Anthony Albanese made Paris one of his first international stops as he sought to heal the rift. Source: AAP / Lukas Coch
France was furious at Australia suddenly scrapping a $90 billion deal with French company Naval Group for a dozen submarines, instead of pursuing nuclear-powered vessels as part of the AUKUS security treaty with the UK and the USA. Paris claimed it was blindsided by the deal US President Joe Biden claimed he believed it had been informed “long before” and admitted the way the announcement was handled was “clumsy”. “I don’t think so, I don’t know,” he replied. Mr. Morrison flatly rejected suggestions he had. was dishonest, saying that President Macron was “clearly aware” that Canberra was considering other options. “We have decided in Australia’s interest not to proceed with the [Naval Group] contract,” he said in November 2021. “At the end of the day, I’m going to make the tough decisions to ensure Australia has the best defense capability.”