Germany, NATO rule out sending troops to Ukraine as Russia condemns Macron | Russia-Ukraine War News

Macron's comments came as the Kremlin warned of a conflict if the West steps into Ukraine.

Germany, Poland and NATO have ruled out sending ground troops to Ukraine, with the Kremlin warning that such a move would represent a major escalation and lead to direct conflict between Russia and the Western security alliance.

The reports on Tuesday came a day after French President Emmanuel Macron raised the possibility following a meeting of European leaders on increasing support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said participants at a conference in Paris discussed the matter, but agreed that “ground troops sent there by European states or NATO countries, are not soldiers on Ukrainian soil.”

Scholz said there is a consensus that “soldiers operating in our countries are not actively participating in the war themselves.”

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala – two of Kiev's strongest supporters – meanwhile said they too were not considering sending troops.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told the Associated Press news agency that while members of the alliance have provided “unprecedented support” to Ukraine, “there is no plan for NATO combat troops in Ukraine.”

The idea of ​​sending in troops is taboo, especially as NATO seeks to avoid being drawn into a wider war with a nuclear-armed Russia. Nothing prevents NATO members from joining such an effort either individually or in groups, but the organization will only be involved if all 31 members agree.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin has warned that a direct conflict between NATO and Russia is inevitable, should the alliance send combat troops.

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“Discussing the possibility of sending some teams from NATO countries to Ukraine is a very important new aspect,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Peskov said it was “absolutely not in the interests” of NATO's European members. “Then we must speak not of probability, but of inevitability [of direct conflict].”

With Macron increasingly isolated, his government has sought to clarify his views.

French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne said on Tuesday that the president had in mind sending troops for specific tasks such as demining, weapons production at the site and cyber security.

“[This] A may be required [military] Being on Ukrainian territory, without crossing the threshold of conflict,” Sejourne told French lawmakers.

“We are not sending troops to wage war against Russia,” the minister said.

The conference in Paris comes after France, Germany and the UK signed 10-year bilateral security deals with Ukraine in a bid to boost Western support.

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