Updated February 28th, 2024 at 17:55 IST

We’re Not at War with Russia,’ No Plans to Send Troops to Ukraine: Italy

“When we talk about sending troops, we must be very cautious,"

Reported by: Digital Desk
Italy PM Georgia Meloni, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Putin. | Image:AP
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Italy on Tuesday said that it is not at war with Russia and has no plans to send its troops to fight in Ukraine as speculations emerged that NATO may deploy soldiers from the member states to ward off the Russian invasion on Kyiv’s eastern flank. There was a firestorm among the European states of NATO after French President Emmanuel Macron said that he wasn’t ruling out the prospect of sending troops to Ukraine from NATO and other Western countries.

Speaking at a conference, Italy’s foreign minister Antonio Tajani said that Rome isn’t officially at war with Moscow, and therefore harbours no plans of sending its army on behalf of Ukraine to fight the Russians. Despite a continuing support towards Kyiv’s sovereignty, Italy will not send troops for confrontation with the Russian forces on the frontline of battlefields, Tajani clarified.

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“When we talk about sending troops, we must be very cautious because we must not make people think we are at war with Russia,” Italy’s foreign minister Antonio Tajani said at a state presser on Tuesday. 

The latter continued that there was “no consensus today to send, in an official manner, troops on the ground.” Italian minister, although, acknowledged that it backs victory for Ukraine and that NATO must not stop at anything to defeat Russia, echoing the French President’s remarks. “There’s no consensus today to send, officially, troops on the ground,” Tajani said. 

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Jens Stoltenberg: No plan for NATO combat troops deployment in Ukraine 

Macron’s recent statement prompted the NATO bloc’s secretary general to weigh into the matter. Jens Stoltenberg clarified that there are “no plans for NATO combat troops on the ground in Ukraine.” The UK however, appearing more reluctant to negate the statement completely said that the British government “does not have plans for a large-scale” troop deployment” in Ukraine.

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This week, the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, ratified Sweden’s NATO membership bid following 21 months-long procrastination and foot dragging. Hungary, deemed a “troublemaker” by Europe for backsliding in its democratic fabric under nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban objected to Sweden’s entry without a clear reason other than Swedish criticism of Hungarian democracy. In a historic breakthrough, just a month after Ankara’s legislators endorsed the Scandinavian nation’s accession, lifting the major hurdle on previously non-aligned neutral state, Hungary’s Russia-aligned prime minister agreed to break the impasse.

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Published February 28th, 2024 at 13:27 IST