Macron still doesn't rule out sending troops to Ukraine

 Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, and French President Emmanuel Macron shake hands after a press conference, on Feb. 16, 2024
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, and French President Emmanuel Macron shake hands after a press conference, on Feb. 16, 2024 Copyright Thibault Camus/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Thibault Camus/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Euronews with AP
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button
Copy/paste the article video embed link below:Copy to clipboardCopied

The French president says "all options are possible" in Ukraine, although the current situation doesn't require them.

ADVERTISEMENT

Emmanuel Macron warned Western powers against showing any signs of weakness to Russia as he reiterated his position that sending Western troops into Ukraine shouldn't be ruled out.

The French President admitted, however, that today’s situation doesn’t require it.

In an interview on French national television TF1 and France 2 on Thursday, Macron was asked about the prospect of sending Western troops to Ukraine, which he publicly raised last month. 

His comments prompted pushback from other European leaders who stressed they had no plans to do so.

"We’re not in that situation today," he said, but added that “all these options are possible.”

Macron, who is the commander-in-chief of the country’s armed forces, declined to describe in which situation France would be ready to send troops. 

He said the responsibility for prompting such a move would lie with Moscow: “It wouldn't be us," adding that France would not lead an offensive into Ukraine against Russia.

“Today, to have peace in Ukraine, we must not be weak," Macron continued. 

Many observers point out that France has provided some of the least bilateral assistance to Kyiv in the Western world. 

The Kiel Insitute for the World Economy ranks its total commitments 14th out of Ukraine's allies. Its figures show that Germany's 17.7 billion euro contribution dwarfs the 0.64 billion euros Paris has provided in military assistance. 

Macron described the Russia-Ukraine war as “existential” to France and Europe.

“If war spread to Europe, it would be Russia’s sole choice and sole responsibility. But for us to decide today to be weak, to decide today that we would not respond, is being defeated already. And I don’t want that,” he said.

Macron's televised interview comes after the French parliament debated the country’s Ukraine strategy this week. 

Both the National Assembly and the Senate approved in symbolic votes the 10-year bilateral security agreement signed last month between Macron and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Come together

Macron is meeting with his counterparts in Germany and Poland in Berlin on Friday to discuss support for Ukraine. 

He is seeking to show unity and solidarity as Kyiv grapples with military shortages and Russia votes in an election all but certain to extend President Vladimir Putin's reign.

Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk are meeting at a summit of the so-called “Weimar Triangle” of the three major EU powers. 

They are trying to revitalise relations, which became badly strained under Poland's previous nationalist government.

ADVERTISEMENT

Kyiv’s forces are hoping for more military supplies from its Western partners. 

In the meantime, they are struggling against a bigger and better-provisioned Russian army that is pressing hard at some front-line points in Ukraine. 

The EU's plans to produce 1 million artillery rounds for Ukraine have fallen well short, while US aid is being held up by Republican legislators in Congress.

“We must do everything we can to organise as much support as possible for Ukraine," Scholz said on Wednesday. 

He pointed to the "very practical question of whether there is enough ammunition, whether there is enough artillery, whether there is enough air defence – many things that play a major role.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Share this articleComments

You might also like

At least two people killed in Ukrainian missile attack, says Russia

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz defends his refusal to send Ukraine Taurus missiles

US to send €275 million in military aid to Ukraine