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French President Emmanuel Macron, who gathered with other European leaders in Paris Monday, said sending Western troops to Ukraine was not “ruled out.” 

“There’s no consensus today to send in an official, endorsed manner troops on the ground. But in terms of dynamics, nothing can be ruled out,” Macron said in a news conference at the Elysee presidential palace, adding that Europe “will do everything needed so Russia cannot win the war.”

The French president declined to provide details about which nations were considering sending troops, saying he preferred to maintain “strategic ambiguity.”

Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a press conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Monday, Feb. 26, 2024.  (Gonzalo Fuentes/Pool via AP)

The meeting, which turned heated at times, included German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Poland’s President Andrzej Duda as well as leaders from the Baltic nations, which have been considered among possible targets of future Russian expansionism, and remain fervent supporters of Ukraine. 

The United States was represented by its top diplomat for Europe, James O’Brien, and the U.K. by Foreign Secretary David Cameron.

Duda said the most heated discussion was about whether to send troops to Ukraine and “there was no agreement on the matter. Opinions differ here, but there are no such decisions.”

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Poland’s president said he hopes that “in the nearest future, we will jointly be able to prepare substantial shipments of ammunition to Ukraine. This is most important now. This is something that Ukraine really needs.”

In video speech, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on the leaders gathered in Paris to “ensure that Putin cannot destroy our achievements and cannot expand his aggression to other nations.”

In addition, a new coalition is to be launched to further “mobilize” nations with capabilities to deliver medium and long-range missiles, Macron said, as France announced last month the delivery of 40 additional long-range Scalp cruise missiles. 

Ukraine President Zelenskyy

Ukraine President Zelenskyy holding his hands up with a Ukraine flag in the background (Viktor Kovalchuk/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)

Monday’s meeting comes amid European nations worried over waning U.S. support in supporting Ukraine. Those concerns have been compounded by the prospect of Trump returning to the White House and changing the course of U.S. policy on the continent.

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The Paris conference comes after France, Germany and the U.K. recently signed 10-year bilateral agreements with Ukraine to send a strong signal of long-term backing as Kyiv works to shore up Western support.

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