French President Emmanuel Macron attends a press conference at the end of the conference in support of Ukraine at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, 26 February 2024. EPA-EFE/GONZALO FUENTES


Macron: Sending troops to Ukraine ‘must not be excluded’


French President Emmanuel Macron refuses to exclude the possibility of sending its soldiers to Ukraine.

“There is no consensus today to send troops on the ground in an official, open and endorsed manner,” he said on February 26.

“But, in dynamics, nothing should be excluded.”

Macron was speaking at a conference in Paris on February 26 in support of Ukraine, bringing together more than 20 heads of state. There, he further announced a coalition to supply “medium and long-range missiles and bombs” to Ukraine. Apparently, those weapons can execute “deep strikes”.

“This is a very strong message sent to Russia,” the French President stated.

“The defeat of Russia is indispensable for security and stability in Europe.”

The French stance comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin had appreared to insinuate that, regarding the Ukraine conflict, the “nuclear option is on the table”.

Macron spoke of Russia’s “hardening” and “change of tone” over the situation.

“Russia cannot and must not win this war,” he said.

“What is at stake today is also the opportunity for Europeans to define their own security.”

Macron’s comments have caused some controversy in France and abroad.

National Rally MP Marine Le Pen took to X on the morning of February 27 to state: “Emmanuel Macron is playing the warlord but it is the lives of our children that he talks about with such carelessness.

“It’s peace or war in our country that is at stake.”

The leader of the Socialist Party Olivier Faure reacted, echoing the La France Insoumise hard-left MP Jean-Luc Mélenchon: “Supporting the Ukrainian resistance, yes.

“Go to war with Russia and drag the continent along? Madness.”

“This is absolutely not in the interests of these countries, they should be aware of this,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on February 27 after being asked about Macron’s statement.

He added that many countries “are keeping a fairly sober assessment of the potential dangers of such actions”.

“The very fact that the possibility of sending some contingents from NATO countries to Ukraine is being discussed is a very important new element,” he said.

Asked if the appearance of NATO troops in Ukraine would lead to a direct confrontation between the alliance and Russia, Peskov said: “In this case we need to speak not about a possibility but of the inevitability of confrontation.”

Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó declared on social media: “We are not willing to send weapons or troops to Ukraine.”

Securing arms supplies to Ukraine, according to Macron, is “a top priority,” while allied nations will he said also collaborate with the beleaguered nation on cybersecurity and local military manufacturing.

Speaking to the conference via video call, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy underlined the urgent need for military assistance for his nation, pointing out that its supplies were running low and that the European Union had so far only provided a third of the 1 million shells it had pledged by the end of March.

Alongside that effort, Czechia has been pushing for more support; the country reportedly secured 800,000 shells on the international market that can go to Ukraine and had called on other governments to help foot the bill.

In the French capital, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said he had found allies for this. “Here in Paris, it emerged that as many as 15 states would be willing to contribute financially.

“This means Ukraine could get the deliveries in the coming weeks and months,” he said.

“Because Ukraine needs support – now.”