Sending Western troops to Ukraine is not “excluded”, says Emmanuel Macron


French President Emmanuel Macron said Monday that sending Western troops on the ground in Ukraine was not “excluded” in the future.

Mr Macron spoke after a meeting on Ukraine in Paris that brought together more than 20 European heads of state and government and other Western officials in Paris.

“There is no consensus today to officially send troops on the ground. But in terms of dynamics, nothing can be excluded,” said the French head of state.

Mr Macron declined to provide details on which countries were considering sending troops.

He added that “we will do whatever is necessary so that Russia cannot win the war.”

Emmanuel Macron had already urged his fellow European leaders on Monday to ensure their collective security by providing unwavering support to Ukraine in the face of more severe Russian offensives on the battlefield in recent months.

“We are ensuring our collective security, for today and for tomorrow,” said Mr. Macron as he received 20 European heads of state and government and other Western officials in Paris in a show of unity for Ukraine as Russia’s full-scale invasion moves into a third year.

Related video: Ukraine: Emmanuel Macron says sending Western troops in the future cannot “be ruled out” (Dailymotion)

“Russia cannot and must not win this war,” insisted Mr. Macron during the meeting at the presidential palace, attended by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Polish President Andrzej Duda as well as the leaders of the Baltic countries.

“In recent months in particular, we have seen Russia become tougher,” noted Mr. Macron. We also know that Russia is preparing new attacks, in particular to shock Ukrainian public opinion.”
Anticipate possible Russian expansionism

Emmanuel Macron spoke of the need to strengthen security to avoid any Russian attacks against other countries in the future. Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, as well as the much larger Poland, have been seen as possible targets for future Russian expansionism. All four countries are strong supporters of Ukraine.

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

In a video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on leaders gathered in Paris to “ensure that Putin cannot destroy the gains and cannot expand his aggression to other nations.”

A senior French official revealed that the conference was not aimed at making new commitments in terms of arms deliveries and financial aid, but rather to better coordinate support for Kyiv and ensure that aid promises are kept . The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details and objectives of the conference.

The United States was represented at the Paris meeting by its most senior diplomat in Europe, James O’Brien, and the United Kingdom by Foreign Secretary David Cameron.

European countries fear the United States will reduce support as aid to Kyiv falters in Congress. They also fear that former US President Donald Trump will return to the White House and change the course of US policy on the continent.

The Paris conference comes after France, Germany and the United Kingdom recently signed 10-year bilateral agreements with Ukraine, sending a strong signal of long-term support as Kyiv strives to strengthen the Western support.

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