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30 May, 2024
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French jets fly over Cyprus after Macron-Putin chat

East and West size up each other in the Mediterranean as calm over Ukraine issue hard to attain


French fighter jets taking off Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean are flying over Cyprus this week in a demonstration of NATO power, with Russian ships also in the area just days after Putin and Macron met to discuss Ukraine.

Rafale jets flew Wednesday over sea and land in Cyprus ahead of Friday exercise with mock attacks to test the island’s defense capabilities and train National Guard officers.

The jets take off from Charles De Gaulle during Clemenceau 22 with flybys over the island scheduled to last through Sunday as part of TALOS 2022 exercise.

NATO countries have warned Moscow to scale down troops on the Ukrainian border, with Putin saying he wanted reassurances the alliance would put an end to eastward expansion

But Cyprus is not the only one sizing up make-believe enemies during the exercise at a critical time for the region and the NATO alliance.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron met in Moscow this week, with the two men stating their positions on the situation in Ukraine.

NATO countries have warned Moscow to scale down heavy troops on the Ukrainian border, with Putin saying his country did not wish to invade but wanted reassurances the transatlantic alliance would put an end to eastward expansion, seen as a threat by Russia and a defensive move by the west.

Earlier this week a group of Russian Northern Fleet ships has also entered the Mediterranean Sea, where the French aircraft carrier will drop by Limassol port at the end of month.

Last Sunday reports said a Rafale jet made an emergency landing in Malta after running out of fuel due to refueling problems in the air.

While Clemenceau 22 is focusing on the Mediterranean through April, reports said some French assets would be redirected to the Black Sea pending developments.  

Cyprus  |  France  |  Rafale  |  Ukraine  |  Russia  |  Putin  |  Macron  |  NATO  |  Clemenceau 22  |  TALOS 2022

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