Macron says sending Western troops into Ukraine has not been 'ruled out'

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, and French President Emmanuel Macron, right. Credit: AP

French President Emmanuel Macron said Monday that sending Western troops on the ground in Ukraine is not “ruled out” in the future.

Macron spoke after a meeting on Ukraine in Paris brought together over 20 European heads of state and government and other Western officials in Paris.

“There’s no consensus today to send in an official manner troops on the ground. But in terms of dynamics, nothing can be ruled out,” Macron said.

Macron declined to provide details about which nations were considering sending troops.

He added that “we will do everything needed so Russia cannot win the war.”

His comments come as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a 10-year bilateral security agreement with France last week hours after he officialized a similar one with Germany.

The agreements send a strong signal of long-term backing as Kyiv works to shore up Western support nearly two years after Russia launched its full-scale war.

The agreement provides an additional package worth 3 billion euros (£2.5 billion) in military aid this year, the largest annual amount France has given to Ukraine since the war began.

“The outcome of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine will be decisive for our interests, our values, our security and our model of society,” Macron said.

”Yes, we must further invest” to support Ukraine “at a greater scale and in the long term,” he added. Macron said he would travel to Ukraine by mid-March.

Ukraine signed last month its first such bilateral agreement with the UK.

“These three agreements ... give me confidence as president that we are not alone,” Zelenskyy said in Paris.

“It's very important that we have specific agreements with all our partners. But I would like to emphasize that this is not an alternative to the United States, we are all together,” he said.

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The security agreements appear aimed primarily at sending a message of long-term solidarity as Ukraine has gone back on the defensive in the war, hindered by low ammunition supplies and a shortage of personnel.

Macron said the agreements also show Europe's commitments amid concerns that former US President Donald Trump might return to the White House and allow Russia to expand its aggression on the continent.

“Europe’s future cannot depend on the American election," Macron said. "This is my idea of sovereignty and strategic autonomy.”