Macron Doubles Down on Remarks About NATO Sending Troops to Ukraine

The French leader stirred an uproar by saying NATO sending troops shouldn’t be ruled out


February 29, 2024

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday stood behind his comments about NATO not ruling out sending troops to Ukraine despite the uproar it caused and the warning it drew from Russia.

“These are sufficiently serious issues; every one of the words that I say on this issue is weighed, thought through, and measured,” Macron told reporters.

Following a meeting of European leaders on the Ukrainian proxy war on Monday, Macron said, “There’s no consensus today to send in an official, endorsed manner troops on the ground. But in terms of dynamics, nothing can be ruled out.”

His comments appeared to confirm a warning from Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico, an opponent of NATO support for Ukraine, who said earlier that some NATO members were considering sending troops to Ukraine on a “bilateral basis.”

Macron’s comments caused many NATO members to refute the idea that they’re considering sending combat troops to Ukraine, although it’s an open secret that there are a small number of NATO special operations forces already in the country.

One NATO country that backed up Macron is Lithuania, the Baltic nation that borders Kaliningrad and has an active duty military that only consists of only about 15,000 troops.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis welcomed Macron’s comments, saying, “No option can be rejected out of hand.” The country’s defense minister, Arvydas Anušauskas, said troops could potentially be sent to Ukraine for training, not for combat.

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The Kremlin has warned that the deployment of Western troops to Ukraine would make a direct Russia-NATO war inevitable. Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Thursday that Russia’s nuclear arsenal is on “full combat alert.”

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