"Absolutely Possible." Kyiv Discusses the Deployment of Western Troops to Ukraine to Assist the Armed Forces

Written by Henrik Rothen

May.05 - 2024 10:44 AM CET

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Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Kyiv Discusses the Deployment of Western Troops to Ukraine.

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As tensions and complexities surrounding the Ukrainian conflict continue to unfold, recent statements from Ukrainian and Western officials suggest that the introduction of Western military forces into Ukraine, though controversial, is not entirely off the table.

Kyiv Contemplates Requesting Western Troops

Ukrainian MP Alexey Goncharenko recently hinted that Ukraine might consider requesting Western military support on its soil should the Ukrainian Armed Forces face a significant shortfall in manpower.

"It is absolutely possible," stated Goncharenko, indicating that such a request to Western allies could indeed materialize if deemed necessary.

This statement aligns with earlier remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron, who had suggested that deploying foreign troops in Ukraine could be an option, calling it a "good signal."

Zelensky's Delicate Position

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky acknowledged his desire to see Western soldiers support Ukraine directly but emphasized his reluctance to initiate such a move publicly.

He fears that overtly seeking military assistance could provoke Russia to intensify its efforts to thwart international aid to Ukraine.

Additionally, Zelensky expressed concern about potential backlash from citizens in Western countries, which might pressure their governments to refrain from deploying troops.

Macron's Proposal Meets Resistance

Despite President Macron's openness to the idea of deploying foreign troops to Ukraine, his suggestion has not been warmly received across Europe.

In late February 2024, Macron floated the possibility, which was quickly met with skepticism and outright rejection by several countries, including Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden, Hungary, Germany, the USA, Canada, Italy, and Spain.

Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto criticized Macron's comments for potentially escalating tensions, while German Chancellor Olaf Scholz confirmed a consensus among EU and NATO leaders against sending troops to Ukraine.

Although several of the above countries rejected the idea of NATO soldiers in Ukraine, many were not dismissive of the possibility that it might become necessary one day. However, at the time of writing, it was not up for debate.

Kremlin Warns of NATO Conflict

The Russian response to the potential involvement of Western troops has been unequivocally grim.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov declared that the deployment of European soldiers on Ukrainian soil would inevitably lead to a conflict between Russia and NATO, urging Western countries to consider whether such actions align with their national interests and those of their citizens.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also issued a stern warning, suggesting that any foreign military intervention would face severe and tragic consequences.

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