Macron weighs five scenarios for NATO troop deployment in Ukraine

Emmanuel Macron
Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron is considering five scenarios for sending troops to Ukraine, the French newspaper Le Figaro reported on March 26.

In the first scenario, France could set up weapon production and maintenance factories.

However, the issue is that insurance companies may levy hefty bills for construction, rendering this scenario unlikely.

In the second scenario, France would train Ukrainian troops and participate in demining.

Ukrainian soldiers are already undergoing training in France and Poland with the French army, and the same would occur on Ukrainian territory under this scenario, making it the most realistic, the article said.

The third scenario involves protecting Odesa. Macron fears that the war could spill over into Moldova if Russia occupies the Odesa port, Le Monde said. While possible, such an option poses certain risks for France.

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In the fourth scenario, French troops would establish buffer zones in Ukraine to aid Ukrainian soldiers.

"It is not excluded that they will end up in liberated areas, for example, on the Belarusian border, in Kherson or Kharkiv," said Nicolas Tenzer, a Sciences Po Paris university lecturer.

"This way, a signal could be sent to the Russians to refrain from further advancement. They could also protect civilian areas that are regularly targeted by the Russian army." 

The fifth scenario, deemed the least realistic by journalists, involves the direct participation of French troops in "trench warfare."

Participation of French troops in combat against the Russian army would be "equivalent to declaring war on Russia," the publication said.

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Macron's statement on sending troops to Ukraine

Ukraine's Western allies could create a coalition to provide the Ukrainian Armed Forces with long-range weapons, and future Western troop deployment to Ukraine should not be ruled out, Macron said after a conference in support of Ukraine held in Paris on Feb. 26

Several NATO countries publicly rejected the idea of sending troops to Ukraine in response to Macron's statements, including Poland, the United States, Germany, Czechia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anušauskas did not reject the possibility of sending NATO troops, adding that their troops would only be used on a training mission.

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"All options should be kept open," Dutch Army Defense Chief, General Onno Eichelsheim, said.

European NATO member states have been studying the possibility of sending NATO troops to Ukraine for weeks, the AFP news agency reported, citing a source.

French troops could help Ukraine protect certain borders, and take part in exercises or ground air defense, French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal said on Feb. 29. He ruled out the participation of French soldiers in battles "directly on the front line."

Macron, speaking about sending Western troops to Ukraine, meant training missions for Ukrainian soldiers, Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said.

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