Macron not ruling out ground troops to help Ukraine win war

Macron said Russia’s behaviour was hardening both at a political level and on the front in Ukraine, where new Russian attacks were threatening.

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Emmanuel Macron, not ruling out, ground troops, help Ukraine, win war
President Emmanuel Macron of France

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday said he would not rule out the deployment of French ground troops in Ukraine.

Macron said nothing was off the table to ensure that Russia does not win its war against Ukraine, after the conclusion of a Ukraine aid conference in Paris on Monday.

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The meeting, which was organised at short notice, featured top representatives from many of Kiev’s key European backers, including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and British Foreign Secretary David Cameron.

There was no consensus on the use of ground troops at the meeting of over 20 heads of state and prime ministers.

Macron said that nothing could be ruled out in terms of future dynamics.

Before he departed for the Paris meeting, Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico warned of a dangerous escalation of tensions with Russia.

He said the individual countries, which he did not wish to name, were prepared to send their soldiers directly to Ukraine.

He however warned that this would not persuade Russia to give in, but would certainly increase the risk of the conflict escalating.

After the conference, Macron said in response to the question of a possible deployment of troops by Poland that each country could decide independently and sovereignty on the deployment of ground troops.

“There is no consensus today on officially deploying ground troops. But nothing can be ruled out in the dynamic.

We will do everything necessary to ensure that Russia cannot win this war,” he said.

“Many people who say ‘never, never’ today are the same people who said ‘never, never tanks, never, never aircraft, never, never longer-range missiles’ two years ago.

“Today, the discussion is about becoming faster and stronger in the delivery of tanks and missiles.

“So anything is possible if it helps us achieve our goal,’’ Macron said.

At the meeting, it was decided to form a coalition to supply Ukraine with missiles for attacks far behind Russian lines, said the French president.

In the short term, additional ammunition should also be mobilised for Ukraine from its stocks.

A delivery of French Mirage fighter jets has not yet been decided, but the French military equipment that could help Ukraine is still being examined, said Macron.

“The general realisation today is that the security of all of us is at stake,’’ Macron said at the Élysée Palace at the start of the conference.

As Ukraine’s war enters its third year, Macron said Moscow’s behaviour was becoming more aggressive on the political level and the front line in Ukraine.

Macron said Russia’s behaviour was hardening both at a political level and on the front in Ukraine, where new Russian attacks were threatening.

A Russian defeat is necessary for stability and security in Europe, and Ukraine’s supporters needed to give themselves a jolt, he said.

“Russia must not win the war,’’ Macron emphasised, saying support cannot be allowed to waver and that Ukraine’s backers must intensify efforts.

“We are in the process of ensuring our security today and tomorrow.

“We do not want to go to war with the Russian people,” the President also stressed.

He called for increased aid for Ukraine with money and weapons must be mobilised both jointly and at a national level.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky joined the Paris meeting via video.

An advisor to Macron said in advance that the consultations in Paris would be less about new assurances for arms deliveries and more about increasing the efficiency of the military aid already promised.

This included the training of Ukrainian soldiers and cyber defence.