France's President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a press conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris on April 30, 2024. Macron debuted the potential for NATO troops in Ukraine in late February, saying that although there was "no consensus" on combat personnel, "nothing should be excluded" when it came to supporting Ukraine. Less CHRISTOPHE ENA/POOL/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

NATO Member Outlines Two Conditions for Deploying Troops to Ukraine

Ukraine’s Western backers in NATO and Europe will have to consider committing troops to the war-torn country under two conditions, French President Emmanuel Macron has said, as conflict within the alliance about the possibility of sending troops rumbles on.

“If the Russians were to break through the front lines, if there were a Ukrainian request—which is not the case today—we would legitimately have to ask ourselves this question,” Macron told The Economist in an interview published on Thursday, referring to the possibility of sending ground troops.

Ukraine’s supporters, although supplying billions of dollars in military aid to Kyiv, have balked at the idea of sending troops, a move that could draw NATO more directly into a confrontation with Russia.

Macron debuted the potential for NATO troops in Ukraine in late February, saying that although there was “no consensus” on combat personnel, “nothing should be excluded” when it came to supporting Ukraine. It “is not unthinkable” to deploy NATO troops to Ukraine, added Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski.

Macron’s comments shook other NATO leaders, with several quickly downplaying the potential for NATO troops on the frontlines. Shortly after Macron’s remarks, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said, “There will be no ground troops, no soldiers on Ukrainian soil sent there by European countries or NATO states.”

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