Macron announces new steps to boost Ukraine, doesn’t exclude troops

Says we are convinced that defeat of Russia is indispensible to security and stability in Europe

PARIS  -   French President Emmanuel Macron announced Tuesday new steps to boost Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion, saying not even the sending of Western ground troops was ruled out to achieve Europe’s goal of defeating Moscow. Speaking after hosting a meeting of two dozen European leaders to discuss Ukraine, Macron painted a grim picture of a Russia whose positions he said were “hardening” both at home and on the battlefield. “We are convinced that the defeat of Russia is indispensible to security and stability in Europe,” he said. Russia, he said, was showing a “more aggressive attitude not just in Ukraine but in general”.

While there was “no consensus” on the sending of Western ground troops to Ukraine, “nothing should be excluded. We will do whatever it takes to ensure that Russia cannot win this war,” he said. Macron said the new coalition would be set up to supply Ukraine with “missiles and bombs of medium and long range to carry out deep strikes”. There was a “broad consensus to do more and quicker”, he added. “Nothing can be excluded to achieve our objective. Russia cannot win that war.” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Polish President Andrzej Duda were among around 25 European heads of state and government at the conference. Other states sent ministers, with foreign secretary David Cameron in Paris for Britain, and the United States and Canada were also represented. Macron said earlier as he opened the conference at the Elysee palace that Ukraine’s allies needed to jump-start their support as the war entered its third year. “We have seen hardening on the part of Russia, especially these past few months,” Macron said. 

He said this had manifested itself in February 16 death in custody of President Vladimir Putin’s top opponent Alexei Navalny, but also in a hardening of Russia’s positions on the frontlines, where it was planning “new attacks”.

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