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Ukrainian ambassador praises French decision to send long-range missiles, calls on others to follow suit

Oksana Markarova (

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova praised the recent French decision to send Ukraine long-range missiles at a forum in Washington on July 12 and said any other county that has this type of missile should also send them to Ukraine’s front lines.

Markarova met with French Ambassador to the U.S. Laurent Bili at a panel discussion as the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, came to a close.

The decision to send the SCALP missiles was announced on July 11 by French President Emmanuel Macron as the summit opened. The new delivery adds to the British supply of Storm Shadow missiles — identical to the French SCALP missiles — which Britain began delivering to Ukraine in May.

“We are very grateful…to France and Great Britain for providing [the long-range missiles],” Markarova said. “It really makes a difference on the battlefield.

“We are still working and asking both our friends in the U.S., but also anyone else who have these capabilities, to give it to us,” she added.

The missiles have a range of more than 250 kilometers, meaning they are capable of striking targets far into Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine, well behind front lines.

This capability is critical for Ukraine’s forces to disrupt Russian logistics and command and control, military analysts have said.

The Ukrainian ambassador also thanked the United States for the recent decision to send cluster munitions to Ukraine, saying that it was “such a valued decision” from President Joe Biden, who has received some backlash from domestic critics and foreign allies about the controversial weapons.

Among these new additions to Kyiv’s arsenal, Ukraine also came out of the Vilnius summit with a G7 security guarantee, promising continued support for Ukraine throughout the war.

While the ambassador called the G7 statement “a very powerful declaration,” the guarantee falls short of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s aspirations to have a clear date for Ukraine’s entrance into NATO.

However, the ambassador reiterated that winning the war and Ukraine’s integration into Western institutions are fundamentally linked.

Ukrainian military forces, Markarova explained, were already moving toward NATO membership by making all equipment interoperable with NATO equipment.

“I think our army is one of the few armies…that use NATO type equipment very effectively,” she said.