In the face of French President Emmanuel Macron’s openness to sending Western troops to Ukraine, key NATO countries have categorically dismissed the idea. Macron’s suggestion that “nothing should be excluded” in the response to the Russian offensive met with a swift lack of consensus among allies.

At a recent news conference, Macron acknowledged the need for security that might justify deployment elements but maintained France’s stance of strategic ambiguity. This position was echoed at a crisis meeting in Paris attended by leaders from the US, Canada, and European nations, aimed at bolstering support for Ukraine.

The US, under President Joe Biden, has reiterated its commitment to aiding Ukraine with military supplies, rather than troop deployment, to enable Ukrainian forces to defend themselves. The sentiment of not sending combat forces was supported by Germany and the UK, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirming no change in their positions against sending troops. Sunak’s office further clarified that the UK would only extend its support in the form of training Ukrainian forces, with no large-scale military deployment.

Italy, through Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s office, has also stated that their support excludes the presence of NATO troops on Ukrainian soil.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov underscored the gravity of the situation, stating that NATO troop presence in Ukraine would inevitably lead to a direct conflict with Russia. This statement came as a response to Macron’s suggestion, which Peskov deemed a “very important new element” that was not in the interest of NATO members.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg clarified that the alliance, which is set to welcome Sweden as its 31st member following Hungary’s approval, is not considering the dispatch of troops to Ukraine. However, he assured continued support for Ukraine, which remains outside NATO membership.

The military aid from Western allies, especially the US, is crucial for Ukraine as it confronts the larger Russian military force. The approval of a significant US aid package, worth $95 billion, with $61 billion earmarked for Ukraine, is pending in the House of Representatives.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, contributing to the Paris meeting via video link, emphasized that united defense efforts against Russian aggression ensure long-term security for all nations involved.

Despite Macron’s initial openness to the idea, NATO allies stand firm on not deploying ground troops to Ukraine, focusing instead on providing the necessary military aid to support Ukrainian defense capabilities.

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