Reactions to Macron’s proposal on Ukraine

Putin warns that sending Western troops to Ukraine risks a global nuclear war

Feb 29, 2024

Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed Thursday to fulfill Moscow’s goals in Ukraine and sternly warned the West against deeper involvement in the fighting, saying that such a move is fraught with the risk of a global nuclear conflict.

Putin’s blunt warning came in a state-of-the-nation address ahead of next month’s election he’s all but certain to win, underlining his readiness to raise the stakes in the tug-of-war with the West to protect the Russian gains in Ukraine.

In an apparent reference to French President Emmanuel Macron’s statement earlier this week that the future deployment of Western ground troops to Ukraine should not be “ruled out”, Putin warned that it would lead to “tragic” consequences for the countries who decide to do that.

Putin noted that while accusing Russia of plans to attack NATO allies in Europe, Western allies were “selecting targets for striking our territory” and “talking about the possibility of sending a NATO contingent to Ukraine.”

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US Says Won’t Send Troops To Ukraine After Macron Comments

Feb 27, 2024

The White House said Tuesday that the United States would not send troops to fight in Ukraine, after French President Emmanuel Macron refused to rule out the dispatch of Western forces.

President Joe Biden “has been clear that the US will not send troops to fight in Ukraine,” National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said in a statement.

The only US military personnel in Ukraine were with the American embassy in Kyiv “doing important work” on the accountability of weapons provided to Ukraine, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

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Kirby denied that US troops could be sent for demining, arms production or cyber operations, as French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne had suggested Western troops could be.

He added that it would be a “sovereign decision” for France or any other NATO country whether to send troops to Ukraine.

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Macron faces EU backlash after suggesting sending troops to Ukraine

Feb 27, 2024

Emmanuel Macron has faced criticism from France’s Nato and EU partners and a warning of conflict from Russia after he suggested it might be necessary to send ground troops to Ukraine.

After a high-level meeting in Paris of mainly European partners to discuss what urgent steps could be taken to shore up Ukraine in the wake of Russia’s recent frontline advances, the French president told a press conference he did not rule out sending troops.

He said he accepted no consensus existed for the plan, but in a taboo-breaking move he said nothing should be ruled out to achieve the defeat of Russia and the maintenance of security in Europe. “Today there is no consensus about sending ground troops in an official way, standing up for it and taking responsibility for it,” he said.

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Macron wants to lead Europe on Ukraine. France may not let him

Feb 28, 2024

There’s no doubt President Emmanuel Macron wants to take on a mantle of global leadership and reverse faltering Western support for Ukraine, but French politics will make that a hard role for him to pull off.

As Ukrainian forces are pushed back on the battlefield and uncertainty persists over Western military aid, Macron has made a combative pitch to turn the tide, telling reporters that “Europe is at stake.” On Monday he promised a fresh push for artillery shells, floated the idea of western boots on the ground, and announced a new coalition on long-range missiles.

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Macron is clearly styling himself as a statesman who can step into the breach in the mold of Italy’s Mario Draghi, who famously steadied the crisis-stricken eurozone with his pledge to do “whatever it takes.” Indeed, Macron echoed that very phrase on Monday: “We’re determined to do whatever it takes for as long as it takes.”

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