After months of repeated requests, Ukraine is finally set to receive its first delivery of Western tanks.

The vehicles – French-made AMX-10 RC – were pledged by France and announced on Wednesday after talks between Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Volodymyr Zelensky.

The AMX-10 RC tanks are light and six-wheeled, rather than on tracks. They were designed for reconnaissance missions and have been deployed in France's most recent overseas military operations in the Sahel region of West Africa and in Afghanistan.

They are "very mobile... perhaps old but high-performance," a French official said, and are currently being phased out in the French military, AFP reports.

It was not immediately clear how many of the French tanks would be dispatched or when they would be delivered, though training and maintenance has been agreed as part of the deal.

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The French defense ministry said the countries' defense ministers would soon hold talks.

President Zelensky on Twitter said he thanked Macron "for the decision to transfer light tanks" to Ukraine, as well as Bastion armored personnel carriers.

"Thank you friend! Your leadership brings our victory closer," he added.

Paris has already delivered state-of-the-art artillery, armored personnel carriers, anti-aircraft missiles and air-defense systems to Ukraine, but Macron has long been wary of antagonizing Russia and breaking off diplomatic contact with Vladimir Putin.

In the past, Macron has repeatedly riled his Ukrainian allies as well as hawkish eastern European states over comments seen as focusing on diplomatic solutions to the conflict rather than Ukraine's efforts to repel Russia's occupying forces. In June, he said that "we must not humiliate Russia."

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Macron has hardened his rhetoric against the Kremlin in recent weeks, however, accusing Putin of committing war crimes through his "cowardly" and "cynical" attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure.

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In his New Year's Eve message, the French leader addressed Ukrainians, saying: "We will help you until victory and we will build a fair and durable peace. Count on France and count on Europe."

"The president wanted to increase... aid" to Ukraine "by accepting to deliver AMX-10 RC light tanks," an aide to the French leader told reporters on condition of anonymity after the call between Macron and Zelensky.

"It is the first time that Western-designed tanks are supplied to the Ukrainian armed forces," he said.

NATO allies have gradually ramped up their military support to Ukraine since February last year, delivering increasingly sophisticated weapons systems while also publicly worrying about the risk of escalating the conflict with Moscow.

Transfers of fighter jets, long-range missiles and tanks have long been viewed as potentially provocative, risking a more direct confrontation between Russia and the West.

The presidential aide said that the French-made Crotale air defense system was already in action in Ukraine, helping guard against drones and missiles. "These systems have arrived and are being used by the Ukrainians and are well received," the aide said.

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