Potential deployment of French troops to Ukraine draws Russian threat

Maria Zakharova
Maria Zakharova

If French President Emmanuel Macron sends troops to Ukraine, Russians will consider them "legitimate targets," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, Reuters reported on May 8.

"It is characteristic that Macron himself explains this rhetoric with the desire to create some kind of 'strategic uncertainty' for Russia," Zakharova said.

Read also: 'Red lines' for Russia that could provoke NATO's stepping into war

"We have to disappoint him — for us the situation looks more than certain. If the French appear in the conflict zone, they will inevitably become targets for the Russian armed forces. It seems to me that Paris already has proof of this."

Zakharova, known for making false statements, claimed Russia was already seeing growing numbers of French nationals among those killed in Ukraine.

Possible deployment of NATO troops to Ukraine

Read also: Kremlin ties tactical nuclear forces drills to Western troop readiness in Ukraine

After a conference on supporting Ukraine held in Paris on Feb. 26, Macron said that Ukraine's Western allies would create a coalition to provide Ukrainian Armed Forces with long-range weapons, and that sending Western troops to Ukraine in future should not be ruled out.

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

Read also: US not planning to send troops to Ukraine, despite what other Democratic leaders say – White House

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anušauskas did not rejected possibility of sending troops, but clarified that if they do, it will bo only training missions. General Onno Eichelsheim, Chief of General Staff of Dutch Army, said that “all options should be open.”

AFP news agency reported that European NATO states had been studying the possibility of sending NATO troops to Ukraine for weeks.

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal explained that French troops could participate in war on side of Ukraine to protect certain borders, take part in exercises or ground air defense on Feb. 29. He denied possibility of French soldiers participation in battles “directly on front line.”

Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski said that NATO foreign ministers agreed to create a special mission of Alliance to increase support for Ukraine on April 4.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine