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French FM: “Ukraine didn’t ask us to send troops. We don’t exclude anything”

France’s FM said Ukraine didn’t “ask us to send troops” yet, but nothing can be excluded in the near future. Baltic foreign ministers praise France for “out-of-the-box” thinking.
French FM Stéphane Séjourné. Screenshot: Youtube/Euroaktiv
French FM Stéphane Séjourné. Screenshot: Youtube/Euroaktiv
French FM: “Ukraine didn’t ask us to send troops. We don’t exclude anything”

On 8 March, French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné visited Lithuania to meet with his Baltic and Ukrainian counterparts, reinforcing the notion that foreign troops could assist Ukraine in areas such as demining, according to Politico.

On 26 February, French President Emmanuel Macron suggested deploying Western soldiers to Ukraine, a proposal quickly rejected by most European countries, including Germany, Czechia, and Poland. However, the Baltic nations, which may become Russia’s next target should it prevail in its war against Ukraine, were more open to the idea. On 5 March, Macron clarified his statement was meant to “open debates.” Czech President Pavel emphasized that the West should not rule out any support options for Ukraine, including a possible military presence.

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

Currently, Ukraine is suffering from artillery ammunition shortage due to a months-long delay of the US military aid by the Congress Republicans. Séjourné noted regarding the possibility of the French troops on the ground in Ukraine and the shell shortage:

“Ukraine did not ask us to send troops. Ukraine is asking us to send ammunition at the moment,” the French minister said in Lithuania, adding: “We do not exclude anything for the coming months.”

Politico said the Baltic ministers praised France for its “out-of-the-box” thinking.

During a meeting chaired by Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis and attended by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, French FM Stéphane Séjourné emphasized that Russia has no authority to dictate how assistance to Ukraine should be provided in the coming months or years. He asserted that decisions on deploying actions and setting boundaries are to be made collectively, without Russian influence.

Séjourné mentioned mine clearance operations as a potential assistance area, clarifying that it could involve deploying personnel but not for combat purposes.

Ukraine support cannot have limits, Macron tells French party leaders

After the initial rejection of Macron’s idea to send NATO troops to Ukraine, Warsaw is shifting its position, as Polish FM Radosław Sikorski said on 8 March that “The presence of NATO forces in Ukraine is not unthinkable,” emphasizing that the goal is for Russian President Vladimir Putin to be fearful, rather than the West being afraid of Putin.

Séjourné expressed concerns about Russia’s potential focus on the Baltic countries, which are EU and NATO members. Lithuania’s Landsbergis echoed this, emphasizing the need for clear boundaries with Russia and unconditional support for Ukraine in all necessary forms.

France is among Ukraine’s strong supporters in its war against Russia’s aggression.

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