Russia’s war against Ukraine “will last” and the world must prepare for the crisis with determination, French President Emmanuel Macron has warned as he accelerated military deployment in neighboring Eastern European countries to support Kiev.
“War has returned to Europe,” Macron told businessmen and industrialists at an agriculture event in Paris.
“The war will last, this crisis will last … and we must prepare for it with a lot of determination, a lot of solidarity.”
As the Russian offensive intensified on its third day, Macron said his government was in the process of building a resilience plan to secure French commercial sectors and provide long-term responses.
“This war was chosen unilaterally by President (Vladimir) Putin … certainly there will be consequences for our exports in the major sectors,” he said.
Macron promised support for the French agricultural sector in terms of cost recovery due to the impact of the Ukraine war.
France is a major supplier of agricultural and dairy products to Russia, along with its famed French wine and champagne.
French exports to Russia in 2020 amounted to $5.89 billion, according to a UN database on international trade.
In the agriculture sector, exports of oilseeds, oleagic fruits, grain, seeds and fruits stood at $115 million, while dairy products, eggs, honey and edible products accounted for $37 million.
As part of the anti-war coalition supporting Kiev, France has also commenced defensive deployments in countries around Ukraine.
Paris has reinforced its forces and equipment in Poland, Estonia, and Romania, according to Muriel Domenach, the French envoy to NATO.
This includes air defense patrols in Poland, four Mirage 2000-5 jets, 100 pilots and 200 troops in Estonia, and a battalion of 500 soldiers to NATO forces in Romania, she said.
Earlier, Macron announced a new €300 million ($338 million) assistance package for Kiev, assuring that “nothing will be neglected in matters of aid.”