Home » Focus: French president’s comments on sending troops to Ukraine have a big impact on NATO countries | Reuters

Focus: French president’s comments on sending troops to Ukraine have a big impact on NATO countries | Reuters

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Focus: French president’s comments on sending troops to Ukraine have a big impact on NATO countries | Reuters

[パリ/ブリュッセル 27日 ロイター] – French President Emmanuel Macron announced at an international conference to support Ukraine held in Paris on the 26th that he would not rule out the possibility of sending ground troops from Western countries to Ukraine.

The intention was to raise “strategic ambiguity” against Russia, but it was so ambiguous that it caused confusion and frustration among NATO countries.

This comment is in keeping with Macron’s reputation as a “destroyer of diplomacy” who likes to violate taboos and take stances that challenge traditional thinking.

Indeed, by not ruling out sending troops to Ukraine, he is attempting to challenge the notion that such a move risks escalating into a global war between NATO and Russia.

This may turn out to be a visionary statement, paving the way for more direct Western involvement in the war between Ukraine and Russia.

On the other hand, there is also the risk that Mr. Macron’s main goal of strengthening Western solidarity through aid to Ukraine will be undermined.

The US government has made clear that it will not send troops to Ukraine. Germany, Britain, Italy, Spain, Poland and the Czech Republic also quickly distanced themselves from Macron’s ideas.

French government officials said Macron was simply trying to stir up debate, adding that the plan would involve non-combat forces such as demining, border security and training for the Ukrainian military.

French Foreign Minister Séjournet said: “We must consider new actions in support of Ukraine and respond to very individual and specific needs. “I’m thinking about security,” he said.

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Mr. Macron’s comments also raised fears of increasing tensions in relations between France and Germany, which are key to political cooperation in Europe.

At an international conference to support Ukraine held in Paris on the 26th, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that he would not rule out sending ground troops from Western countries to Ukraine. Representative photo shoot in Paris (2024 Reuters)

He pointed out that two years ago, some countries only wanted to send “sleeping bags and helmets” to Ukraine, and appeared to be urging Germany to abandon its initial reluctance and provide offensive weapons to Ukraine. Ta.

In response, several German government officials have privately accused France in recent weeks of not providing enough support to Ukraine.

Some Western officials lament that Mr. Macron has gone out of his way to stir things up and cause embarrassment. One European Union diplomat also expressed displeasure, saying Macron’s comments were causing dissonance among allies.

However, French diplomatic sources say that if the West continues its current policy of only declaring arms and other support for Ukraine, it could give Russian President Vladimir Putin the impression that the West is weak. In reality, he warned, all of Europe was running a huge risk of witnessing a Russian victory.

Some voices in Eastern Europe and elsewhere support the idea that the West should establish a last line that Mr. Putin is unlikely to predict.

“I really think[Macron’s]remarks were meaningful. They showed the general public the urgency of the situation and what’s important,” said an Eastern European diplomat.

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Chief of the General Staff Onno Eijelsheim, head of the uniformed force of the Dutch Armed Forces, said Mr. Macron likely wanted to send a clear message to Mr. Putin that all options were available to him.

“All options need to be on the table. Sending ground troops is the ultimate option and I don’t think the NATO countries will accept it positively yet. But what will happen? No one knows,” he explained.

At the meeting, Mr Macron also suggested that France would drop its opposition to the Czech Republic’s proposal to use EU funds to buy shells from abroad for Ukraine.

Senior officials in some European countries say this is a much higher priority than sending in Western troops.

“I’m glad that France is thinking of ways to step up its support for Ukraine. But if I could make a suggestion, it would be to send more weapons,” German Deputy Chancellor Herbeck said.

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