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Macron does not rule out putting Western troops in Ukraine in future

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Macron does not rule out putting Western troops in Ukraine in future


French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a press conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on February 26, 2024.

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a press conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on February 26, 2024.
| Photo Credit: AP

French President Emmanuel Macron said Monday that sending Western troops on the ground in Ukraine is not “ruled out” in the future after the issue was debated at a gathering if European leaders, as Russia’s full-scale invasion grinds into a third year.

The French leader said at the meeting of 20 European heads of state and other Western officials in Paris that “we will do everything needed so Russia cannot win the war.”

“There’s no consensus today to send in an official, endorsed manner troops on the ground. But in terms of dynamics, nothing can be ruled out,” Mr. Macron said in a news conference.

The meeting included German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Polish President Andrzej Duda as well as leaders from the Baltic nations.

Mr. Macron declined to provide details about which nations were considering sending troops, saying he prefers to maintain some “strategic ambiguity.”

Mr. Macron earlier called on European leaders to ensure the continent’s “collective security” by providing unwavering support to Ukraine in the face of tougher Russian offensives on the battlefield in recent months.

“In recent months particularly, we have seen Russia getting tougher,” Mr. Macron said. “We also know that Russia is preparing new attacks, in particular to shock Ukrainian public opinion.”

Mr. Macron cited the need to to solidify security to head off any Russian attacks on additional countries in the future. Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia as well as much larger Poland have been considered among possible targets of future Russian expansionism. All four countries are staunch supporters of Ukraine.

Estonia’s foreign minister said earlier this month that NATO has about three or four years to strengthen its defenses.

In video speech, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on the leaders gathered in Paris to “ensure that Putin cannot destroy our achievements and cannot expand his aggression to other nations.”

The United States was represented at the Paris meeting by its top diplomat for Europe, James O’Brien, and the U.K. by Foreign Secretary David Cameron.

European nations are worried that the U.S. will dial back support as aid for Kyiv is teetering in Congress. They also have concerns that former U.S. President Donald Trump might return to the White House and change the course of U.S. policy on the continent.

The Paris conference comes after France, Germany and the U.K. recently signed 10-year bilateral agreements with Ukraine to send a strong signal of long-term backing as Kyiv works to shore up Western support.



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