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Macron floats Ukraine troop deployment if frontline breached

By AFP

May 2, 2024 09:17 PM


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French President Emmanuel Macron said the question of sending Western troops to Ukraine would "legitimately" arise if Russia broke through Ukrainian front lines and Kyiv made such a request, in an interview with the Economist published Thursday.

Macron in the interview doubled down on his comments from earlier this year of not ruling out sending troops to Ukraine, which sent shockwaves through Europe and unsettled allies including Germany. Most of France's allies said at the time they would not send any forces.

The Economist said Macron gave the interview after delivering a keynote speech last week, in which he declared that Europe is "mortal" and could "die" partly due to the threat posed by Russian aggression after its February 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

"Absolutely. I'm not ruling anything out, because we are facing someone who is not ruling anything out," said Macron when asked if he stood by his earlier comments made on February 26.

Macron said "if Russia decided to go further, we will in any case all have to ask ourselves this question" of sending troops, describing his refusal to rule out such a move as a "strategic wake-up call for my counterparts".

His latest comments come as some analysts believe that Russia could be on the verge of launching a major new offensive in Ukraine. Russia said Thursday it had captured another village in eastern Ukraine, where Moscow's forces have been making advances for days.

Macron described Russia under President Vladimir Putin as "a power of regional destabilisation" and "a threat to Europeans' security".

"I have a clear strategic objective: Russia cannot win in Ukraine," Macron said.

"If Russia wins in Ukraine, there will be no security in Europe.

"Who can pretend that Russia will stop there? What security will there be for the other neighbouring countries, Moldova, Romania, Poland, Lithuania and the others?" he asked.

 


AFP


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