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Finland doesn’t rule out sending troops to Ukraine in the future

Finnish Foreign Minister Valtonen supports Macron’s strategy of keeping Russia uncertain about Western support for Ukraine, by suggesting troop deployment, while ruling out immediate action but keeping long-term options open.
Finnish Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Finland doesn’t rule out sending troops to Ukraine in the future

Finnish Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen praised French President Emmanuel Macron’s strategy of keeping Russia uncertain about Western support for Kyiv by suggesting the deployment of troops to Ukraine, FT says.

In February, French President Macron suggested sending Western troops to Ukraine, stating France was “not against” it. This prompted rejections from NATO and several countries, including the US, UK, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Poland, and the Czech Republic. Russia threatened consequences for countries supporting Ukraine. Later, some countries, like Canada and Czechia, revised their stance, considering non-combat roles for their troops in Ukraine.

Elina Valtonen told the Financial Times:

“Now’s not the time to send boots on the ground and we are not even willing to discuss it at this stage. But for the long term, of course we shouldn’t be ruling anything out.”

The comments from Valtonen, supported by Baltic leaders and officials, highlight Macron’s recent shift on Russia and his emphasis on the importance of Russia’s defeat in Ukraine for Europe’s security, which has garnered favor with NATO’s frontline members.

Czech President: NATO support troops in Ukraine not against international rules

France, traditionally viewed with suspicion in central and eastern Europe for its approach to Russia, has seen a change in Macron’s stance, who initially cautioned against humiliating Russia. However, in light of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, Macron now considers Russia an existential threat to the EU and French security.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė has voiced support for Macron’s strategy of “strategic ambiguity”:

“What I liked about two recent announcements of President Macron is that he said that actually why should we impose ourselves red lines when Putin basically has no red lines?” she noted, according to FT.

Estonian FM Margus Tsahkna said Macron’s intervention had “woken up a bit the leaders of Europe — instead of putting boots on the ground it is safer to send weapons and money” to Ukraine. It makes Putin concerned about what Europe can actually do. This out of the box thinking is useful.”

Baltic and Finnish officials note that France is rebuilding trust in the region by showing stronger support for Ukraine and deploying troops in Estonia and Romania. Paris has supplied Kyiv with long-range Scalp cruise missiles and powerful AASM smart bombs, while advocating for Ukraine’s clearer path to NATO membership, a proposal rejected by the US and Germany at last year’s alliance summit.

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