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Why is France going to strengthen its military presence in southeastern Europe?

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Emmanuel Macron has been in Romania since Tuesday evening. He visits the NATO base in Constanta, where 500 French soldiers are taking part in a reassurance and border protection mission. He will travel to Moldova in the middle of the day. Moldova, too, is worried about its security. In particular because of Transnistria, an enclave occupied by the Russians on the western border of Ukraine.

TO ANALYSE

Emmanuel Macron has been in Romania since Tuesday evening. He visits the NATO base in Constanta on the shores of the Black Sea where 500 French soldiers are taking part in a reassurance and border protection mission. He will travel to Moldova in the middle of the day. Moldova, too, is worried about its security. In particular because of Transnistria, an enclave occupied by the Russians on the western border of Ukraine. The French soldiers are rather pessimistic.

Each side takes the blame

Several incidents and explosions have indeed taken place in recent weeks in this strip of land straddling Moldova and Ukraine and controlled by pro-Russians. Without knowing exactly who triggered them. Each side blames itself.

A senior officer confides to Europe 1 that it would undoubtedly be, after the conquest of Donbass, one of the objectives of the Kremlin: to try to reach Odessa and to cause unrest in Transnistria to deprive Ukraine of all access to the Black Sea. This explains the importance for France of increasing its power in this region so that the conflict does not extend to European borders.

A reinforced French military presence

It will first reinforce its presence on the spot with a thousand men within a year, against 500 French soldiers today. Heavier equipment, armored vehicles, Leclerc tanks will also arrive. France has already deployed its Mamba battery, high-tech military equipment, there. Two times eight medium-range missiles that can neutralize a drone, a fighter plane or even a cruise missile at any time.

Read:  War in Ukraine: a month after the start of the clashes, where are the Russian forces?

Emmanuel Macron will be in Chisinau at midday, received by the Moldovan President. It is a strategic and symbolic visit since the last French president to be there was Jacques Chirac, in 1998.

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