Updated February 28th, 2024 at 15:57 IST

Macron Faces Backlash After Suggesting that Sending Troops To Ukraine Must Remain an Option

Emmanuel Macron has sparked controversy and drawn sharp criticism from European Union partners, Nato allies, and Russia after hinting at the possibility.

Reported by: Sagar Kar
French President Emmanuel Macron | Image:AP
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French President Emmanuel Macron has sparked controversy and drawn sharp criticism from European Union partners, Nato allies, and Russia after hinting at the possibility of deploying ground troops to Ukraine amidst escalating tensions with Russia.

Following a high-level meeting in Paris with European partners to address Russia's recent advances on Ukraine's frontline, Macron floated the idea of sending troops during a press conference, signaling a departure from established diplomatic norms. While acknowledging the absence of consensus for such a plan, Macron asserted that nothing should be ruled out in the pursuit of defeating Russia and safeguarding European security. He emphasized the urgency of preparing practical countermeasures against Russian aggression.

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France's partners are not happy with Macron's statement

However, Macron's proposal was swiftly met with disapproval from key allies. White House national security council spokesperson Adrienne Watson reiterated President Biden's stance, emphasizing that the US would not send troops to Ukraine. Similarly, Nato and European leaders were quick to rule out the deployment of combat troops, citing concerns about escalating tensions with Russia.

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Nato clarified that there were no plans for combat troops in Ukraine, and Poland's prime minister, Donald Tusk, along with Downing Street, firmly rejected the idea. Sweden's prime minister, Ulf Kristersson, expressed frustration over the proposal, particularly as his country had just cleared the final hurdle for joining Nato.

Troops on the ground remains a taboo

Macron's initiative, which involved convening senior ministers from anti-Russia countries, aimed to galvanize support for Ukraine and reduce reliance on the United States for defense. However, his suggestion of sending troops has led to a rift within EU and Nato ranks.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz echoed the sentiment of other EU leaders, emphasizing the consensus that ground troops from European or Nato states would not be deployed to Ukraine. Scholz underscored the importance of maintaining this understanding and reassured that steps were being taken to address the crisis without resorting to military intervention.

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It isn't exactly clear what Macron hoped to achieve by stating what he did. 

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Published February 28th, 2024 at 15:57 IST