French President Emanuel Macron does not rule out seeing troops in Ukraine. (Photo by Claudio Reis/Getty Images)


Macron floats sending troops to Ukraine if defensive lines collapse


French President Emanuel Macron has floated the possibility of sending troops to Ukraine if defensive lines collapse.

“If the Russians were to break through the front lines and if there was a request from the Ukrainians then we should legitimately look at the possibility [sending troops to Ukraine],” Macron said in an interview on April 29 with British weekly The Economist, which was published on May 2.

Given the military situation in Ukraine, Macron stated he believed it was time to change strategy.

“We have probably been too hesitant in formulating the limits of our action to someone who no longer has any and who is the aggressor,” he said.

Macron said it was a question of continent-wide security.

“Russia cannot win in Ukraine. If Russia wins in Ukraine, we will no longer have security in Europe.

“What credibility do we have as Europeans, who would have said that it was the survival of the continent that was at stake, and who would not have given themselves the means to stop Russia?” he added.

“So yes, we must not exclude anything.”

In February, Macron drew criticism for similar remarks when he said sending troops to Ukraine should not be “excluded”.

At the time, the US and some European countries had dissociated themselves from the French President’s stance.

By reaffirming his position on the possibility of sending troops to Ukraine, Macron is once again likely to attract criticism, particularly from his political opponents in France.

Still, he could probably count on supporter including Polish foreign minister Radosław Sikorski.

In March, he echoed Macron’s idea, saying NATO forces could deploy troops in Ukraine.

“We should not exclude that there might be a need for security that justifies some deployment elements,” Sikorski said.

Macron’s latest comments came at a time when Ukraine is facing a shortage of troops in the field. To bolster military recruitment, the Kyiv Government has recently implemented stricter measures.

These include lowering the military-service age from 27 to 25. Additionally, consular services overseas for males of military age have been suspended.

As a result, individuals needing to renew passports must return to Ukraine, effectively compelling them to engage in military service, if physically capable.