Macron explains ‘NATO troops in Ukraine’ remark — RT World News


The French president has said his refusal to rule out such a deployment was merely aimed at “opening a debate”

Paris does not intend to send military personnel to Ukraine in the foreseeable future, French President Emmanuel Macron has stated a week after appearing to suggest otherwise. He also insisted that France is “not at war against the Russian people.”

Speaking during a press conference following a meeting of Ukraine’s Western backers in Paris last Monday, Macron had said that “there’s no consensus today to send, in an official manner, troops on the ground.” However, he added that “in terms of dynamics, we cannot exclude anything.” He also vowed to “do everything necessary to prevent Russia from winning this war.”

In an exclusive interview with the Czech outlets and Pravo this Monday, Macron clarified that his previous statement “does not mean that we are considering sending French troops to Ukraine in the near future, but that we are opening a debate and thinking about everything that can be done to support Ukraine, especially on its territory.”

Previously, on Thursday, the French leader stressed that his original comment had been “weighed, thought-through and measured.”

French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne told state broadcaster Radio France Inter the following day that the president’s remark about a potential troop deployment had served to increase “strategic ambiguity,” and as a message to the Kremlin that Paris “will not give up the fight [for] the Ukrainians.”

The diplomat added, however, that “everything we do is to avoid war” between Russia and NATO.

President Macron’s original suggestion saw major NATO members, including the US, the UK, Spain, Italy and Germany, issuing clarifications that they harbored no plans to send troops to Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, in turn, warned at the time that the arrival of a Western military contingent to Ukraine would make a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia not only “possible,” but “inevitable.”

On Friday, Le Monde cited anonymous sources as saying that Paris was actually considering sending a small number of personnel to Ukraine to serve as instructors for the country’s military, particularly its air defense forces.

According to the article, officials in Paris believe the presence of French troops on Ukrainian soil could deter Russia from striking certain installations there.

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