Macron stands by remarks on NATO troops in Ukraine

Aprilia Rine

Macron stands by remarks on NATO troops in Ukraine

The French president brushed off criticism from fellow NATO members, insisting his words were “thought-through and measured”

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday stood by his controversial remarks on Monday about the prospects of deploying troops to Ukraine, which have caused uproar among some NATO members, and has insisted his words were well thought out.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a visit to inspect the 2024 Olympics village near Paris, Macron refused to backtrack on his statements despite a flurry of criticism from some fellow members of the US-led bloc.

“These are sufficiently serious issues; every one of the words that I say on this issue is weighed, thought-through and measured,” Macron claimed.

The French president triggered the political furore on Monday while speaking to reporters after hosting a meeting of European leaders in Paris. Macron insisted that the West should stop at nothing to prevent Russia from getting the upper hand in the conflict, saying the deployment of troops by NATO and other Western countries to Ukraine could not be ruled out.

“There’s no consensus today to send, in an official manner, troops on the ground,” he said. “In terms of dynamics, we cannot exclude anything. We will do everything necessary to prevent Russia from winning this war.”

The statement prompted a wave of denial from NATO members, with multiple major members of the bloc, including the US, the UK and Germany insisting they harbor no such plans. Some lesser members of the bloc, however, namely Estonia and Lithuania, appeared to back Macron, suggesting that sending troops to Ukraine should not be ruled out.

“We shouldn’t be afraid of our own power. Russia is saying this or that step is escalation, but defense is not escalation,” the Prime Minister of Estonia Kaja Kallas told Sky on Wednesday. “I’m saying we should have all options on the table. What more can we do in order to really help Ukraine win?”

Moscow has strongly condemned Macron’s remarks, cautioning the US-led bloc against taking further hostile moves. Should NATO troops actually be deployed to Ukraine, a direct confrontation between the alliance and Russia will become not only “possible” but actually “inevitable,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned.

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