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Macron doesn’t rule out sending troops to Ukraine; Stoltenberg says NATO has no such plans (updated)

Macron suggests Western nations might send troops to Ukraine, saying France is “not against sending them”; Sweden, Poland, and the Czech Republic quickly dismiss the idea.
Emmanuel Macron, President of France, during press conference after NATO extraordinary SUMMIT 2022. Brussels, Belgium.
Emmanuel Macron, President of France, Credit: depositphotos
Macron doesn’t rule out sending troops to Ukraine; Stoltenberg says NATO has no such plans (updated)

On 26 February, French President Emmanuel Macron suggested that sending Western troops to Ukraine is still a possibility. The suggestion prompted a strong reaction from the Kremlin the next day. Meanwhile, Sweden, Poland, and the Czech Republic said they are not considering sending troops to Ukraine.

Speaking after a meeting of European heads of state and other Western officials in Paris, Macron said those discussed the possibility of sending ground troops to Ukraine.

“There is no consensus today to officially, openly, and with endorsement, send troops on the ground. But in terms of dynamics, nothing should be ruled out. We will do everything necessary to ensure that Russia cannot win this war,” the French President said, according to NBC, adding without mentioning which nations might consider sending troops that France was “not against sending them.”

Russia threatens in response

On 27 February, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov responded by claiming that the deployment of European NATO troops to Ukraine would make a conflict between Russia and NATO unavoidable, according to Reuters.

No troop deployments considered by Sweden, Czechia, Poland

On the same day, Sweden’s Prime Minister, Ulf Kristersson, stated that Sweden would not be sending troops to Ukraine, deeming it an irrelevant question for NATO at the moment. Kristersson explained to Swedish broadcaster SVT that their focus is currently on sending advanced materials to Ukraine, as requested, rather than deploying troops, according to The Guardian.

“There are not any requests from Ukraine’s side either for that. That question is not relevant,” Kristersson stated a day after Hungary’s parliament approved Sweden’s NATO accession.

At a joint press conference with the Polish PM in Prague on the morning of 27 February, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala stated that he is not considering sending any troops to Ukraine, a sentiment echoed by Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk regarding Poland.

Update 16:45:

Germany, Hungary, Slovakia won’t send troops either

Olaf Scholz, Chancellor of Germany, has dismissed the idea of European nations and NATO members deploying ground forces to Ukraine.

“Once again, in a very good debate, it was discussed that what was agreed from the outset among ourselves and with each other also applies to the future, namely that there will be no ground troops, no soldiers on Ukrainian soil sent there by European countries or NATO states,” Scholz said according to The Guardian.

Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto also said his country wouldn’t send not just troops but also weapons to Ukraine, stating,

“Hungary’s stance is clear and rock-solid: we are not willing to send either weapons or troops to Ukraine.”

According to AP, Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico stated that while his government does not plan to propose a deployment, some countries are considering bilateral deals to provide troops to assist Ukraine against the Russian invasion, though details remain unspecified.

Stoltenberg: no plans for NATO troops in Ukraine

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed to The Associated Press that the alliance, along with other central European leaders, has no plans to send combat troops to Ukraine.

“NATO allies are providing unprecedented support to Ukraine. We have done that since 2014 and stepped up after the full-scale invasion. But there are no plans for NATO combat troops on the ground in Ukraine,” Stoltenberg told AP.

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