European, US allies stunned by Macron’s feedback on troops in Ukraine | EUROtoday

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French President Emmanuel Macron confronted uneasy reactions from European allies and a warning from the Kremlin on Tuesday after he refused to rule out the dispatch of Western floor troops to Ukraine in its struggle towards the Russian invasion.

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Macron stated after a convention of European leaders on Monday that “everything that is necessary” have to be completed to make sure the defeat of Russia, together with deploying troops.

The Kremlin warned of the “inevitability” of confrontation between NATO and Russia if troops from the alliance have been deployed within the battle, which might break a significant taboo the West has to date been reluctant to problem.

Macron hosted the convention simply over two years to the day after Russia invaded Ukraine – looking for to rally larger assist for Kyiv, which faces growing battlefield challenges and dwindling munition shares.

He painted a grim image of Russia beneath President Vladimir Putin, arguing there had been a “change of posture” even in current months that had seen a hardening of its stance each domestically and in Ukraine.

While there was “no consensus” on the sending of Western floor troops to Ukraine, “nothing should be ruled out. We will do whatever it takes to ensure that Russia cannot win this war,” Macron added.

‘Not at battle with Russia’

Macron had refused to say extra about France’s place, citing the necessity for “strategic ambiguity” however saying the problem was talked about “among the options”.

“We are convinced that the defeat of Russia is indispensable to security and stability in Europe,” Macron stated.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, accused by critics of being too cosy with Moscow, stated after the assembly that there was disunity on the problem amongst European leaders.

“There are countries that are ready to send their own soldiers to Ukraine, there are countries that say never – Slovakia is among them – and there are countries that say that this proposal should be considered,” he stated.

Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson of Sweden, which is ready to hitch NATO, poured chilly water on the concept, saying “it’s not on the cards at all for the moment”.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stated in a tetchy message on X: “We agreed that everyone must do more for Ukraine in Paris yesterday. Ukraine needs weapons, ammunition and air defence. We are working on it. It is clear: there will be no ground troops from European countries or NATO.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that, if NATO troops appeared in Ukraine, “we (would) need to speak not about a possibility but of the inevitability” of confrontation.

“This is absolutely not in the interests of these countries, they should be aware of this,” he added.

A NATO official, who spoke on situation of anonymity, emphasised “there are no plans for NATO combat troops on the ground in Ukraine” regardless of the “unprecedented military support” from the alliance.

The Italian authorities stated assist for Ukraine didn’t embrace sending troops.

“When we talk about sending troops, we must be very cautious because we must not make people think we are at war with Russia,” stated Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani.

“We are not at war with Russia,” he stated.

But the United Kingdom issued a considerably extra circumspect response, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s spokesman saying there have been no plans for a “large-scale” troop deployment to Ukraine.

‘Belligerence threshold’

It is known that any Western troops ultimately despatched to Ukraine would haven’t any mandate to struggle Russian forces however work on priorities outlined by Macron in his information convention, together with de-mining, securing neighbouring nations similar to Moldova and thwarting cyberattacks.

“We are not talking about soldiers on the front line, in combat, but about specific activities, far from the front,” stated Rym Momtaz, advisor analysis fellow on the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

But in parliament, Macron got here beneath hearth from far-right figurehead Marine Le Pen who accused him of “taking a further step towards belligerence, posing an existential risk to 70 million French people”.

French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne instructed lawmakers that whereas new actions to assist Ukraine similar to demining and arms manufacturing may require a navy presence on Ukrainian territory, this may not break “any belligerence threshold”.

There are rising doubts in regards to the viability of long-term US backing for Ukraine as a brand new support bundle struggles to search out legislative approval and Donald Trump, who has indicated opposition to additional assist for Kyiv, eyes a return to the presidency in elections this 12 months.

“It’s our future, Europe’s future that is at stake. We must have the possibility to do without (the United States), not out of defiance, pessimism or fear but because it depends on us,” stated Macron.