France has sent some longer-range missiles to Ukraine, French President Emmanuel Macron announced Tuesday, as he arrived for the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.
“In view of the situation and the counter-offensive being led by Ukraine, I have decided to increase deliveries of arms and equipment to give the Ukrainians the capacity to strike further, while maintaining the clarity and coherence of our doctrine, i.e. enabling Ukraine to defend its territory,” Macron said earlier Tuesday.
“I think what's important for us today is to send a message of support for Ukraine, of NATO unity, and of determination that Russia cannot and must not win this war,” he added.
A few hours after Macron delivered the announcement at the NATO summit in Vilnius, a spokesperson for the Elysee Palace told CNN that some SCALP missiles — also known as "Storm Shadow" by their UK name — have already been delivered to Ukraine.
The spokesperson also confirmed to CNN that the SCALP missiles will be fired from Ukrainian aircraft.
More about the missiles: Storm Shadow is an Anglo-French low-observable, long-range, air-launched cruise missile developed since 1994 by French conglomerate Matra and British Aerospace, and now manufactured by MBDA. The full French name of the missiles is SCALP-EG, which in English stands for "Long Range Autonomous Cruise Missile System – General Purpose."
SCALP or Storm Shadow missiles have a firing range in excess of 250 kilometers, or 155 miles, which is just short of the 185-mile range capability of the US-made surface-to-surface Army Tactical Missile Systems, or ATACMS, that Ukraine has asked for.
The Storm Shadow has the range to strike deep into Russian-held territory in eastern Ukraine — a capability that British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has said Kyiv has made use of since the UK provided the missiles to Ukraine in May.
What Russia says: Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has condemned France's announcement, describing it as a mistake that could have consequences for Kyiv.
“From our point of view, this is an erroneous decision, fraught with consequences for the Ukrainian side, because, naturally, this will force us to take countermeasures,” the Kremlin spokesperson said.
CNN’s Anna Chernova contributed reporting to this post.