French Defense Minister Clarifies Stance on Ukraine: No Combat Troops Will Be Deployed

Written by Camilla Jessen

Mar.08 - 2024 11:23 AM CET

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Photo: Victor Velter / Shutterstock.com
Photo: Victor Velter / Shutterstock.com
French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu asserts that France has no plans to send combat troops to Ukraine.

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In a recent interview with BFMTV on March 8, French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu stated that deploying combat troops to Ukraine is "not on the table."

This announcement comes in the wake of French President Emmanuel Macron's remarks that the option of sending Western troops to Ukraine could not be dismissed in the future, a statement from which the U.S. and several European allies have since distanced themselves.

Lecornu mentioned alternative support measures are under consideration, including the deployment of French military personnel for training Ukrainian forces and assisting in demining efforts. He also revealed plans for French arms manufacturers to establish partnerships with Ukrainian firms for local military equipment production, which may include ammunition, marking a strategic shift in France's approach to supporting Ukraine.

"We are no longer in the same situation as two years ago," Lecornu stated. "We don't want to show weakness to Moscow."

Czech President Petr Pavel recently expressed openness to exploring new support methods for Ukraine, such as deploying troops for "non-combat engagement." Pavel clarified his stance, specifying the potential for a training mission rather than combat unit deployment.

"Ukraine, despite being attacked, is still a sovereign country," he said. "It's up to us what form of assistance we choose."

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, alongside leaders from Germany, the U.K., Sweden, Poland, and other European NATO members, has expressly ruled out the possibility of Western troops' deployment to Ukraine.

This unified stance comes amid Russian President Vladimir Putin's stark warning against such actions, suggesting "tragic consequences" and raising the specter of nuclear conflict in his State of the Nation address on Feb. 29.

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