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Bloomberg: Macron ‘riled’ Washington with statements about sending troops to Ukraine

US warned such move risks clash with Moscow. Officials say Macron’s hints aimed to keep Putin pondering but it might have an oposite effect.
President of France Emmanuel Macron during an interview in Paris, aired on Ukrainian TV on 16 March 2024. Screenshot from a Youtube video.
Bloomberg: Macron ‘riled’ Washington with statements about sending troops to Ukraine

French President Emmanuel Macron’s comments about not ruling out sending troops to Ukraine angered US officials, according to Bloomberg.

Macron said earlier that a possible deployment of Western troops to Ukraine “cannot be ruled out.” Later, he clarified that this statement didn’t mean France considered “sending French troops to Ukraine in the near future.” However, we [France – ed.] “are opening the debate and thinking about everything that can be done to support Ukraine, especially on Ukrainian territory.”

US officials warned that “such a move might even risk fomenting a clash with Moscow,” Bloomberg reported, citing a senior official familiar with the discussions among allies.

According to the report, Macron’s hints were “issued to keep Russian President Vladimir Putin pondering,” but officials familiar with NATO discussions on Ukraine said the remarks “may have had the opposite effect.”

By forcing Berlin to publicly rule out the possibility of sending troops, Macron “managed to dispel what lingering ambiguity there had been about the whereabouts of allies’ red lines,” Blomberg reported, citing the US official.

The report cites separate officials, stating that Macron’s comments were “not very smart from the standpoint of operational security — especially given that several countries already, quietly, have some personnel in Ukraine.”

Bloomberg also noted that critics of the “French president say he talks more than acts.”  The agency cites the example of the Czech initiative to purchase ammunition for Ukraine from countries outside the EU. Macron said earlier in March he supported the Czech initiative, but France has not yet announced its financial contribution to it, according to Bloomberg.

In a statement following the conclusion of a European Union summit in Brussels, French President Emmanuel Macron warned against underestimating Russia’s ambitions in the ongoing war. Macron emphasized that it would be a misjudgment to assume that Russia’s aggressive actions would be limited to the Donbas and Crimea.

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