Moscow Reacts To Macron Proposing European Boots On The Ground In Ukraine

French President Emmanuel Macron is now openly discussing the possibility of sending European troops to Ukraine to fight the Russians, which would without doubt trigger WW3 between major nuclear powers.

His jingoistic words came just at the end of a summit held in Paris in support of Ukraine, which involved 20 mainly European leaders. He said of efforts to arm the Ukrainians with more advanced weapons, "people used to say give them just sleeping bags and helmets." But he emphasized that now "Nothing should be ruled out."

He admitted there is as yet "no consensus" on sending Western troops Ukraine but he laid out that "We will do anything we can to prevent Russia from winning this war."

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Macron warned in his remarks, "There is a change in Russia’s stance. It is striving to take on further territory and it has its eyes not just on Ukraine but on many other countries as well, so Russia is presenting a greater danger."

"We’re at a critical moment in this conflict that requires us to take the initiative," Macron said while also unveiling a new European coalition which is to provide Kiev with medium-range and long-range missiles. President Putin and top Kremlin officials have repeatedly rejected the charge that Russia is seeking to wage an expansionist war in Europe and in other former Soviet satellite states.

According to CNN, "Macron had told reporters at a news conference that while he and the other 21 European leaders present did not agree on deploying military personnel, the prospect was discussed openly." However, Germany, the UK, Poland and others have rejected the possibility of deploying troops, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz - who was among those present - later emphasizing that participants were "unanimous" in being set against it. The statement out of the UK prime minister's office was interesting, given it admits the "small number of personnel" already on the ground in Ukraine: 

Britain is not planning a "large-scale deployment of troops" in Ukraine, Prime Minister Sunak’s press secretary said. "Other than a small number of personnel who are in the country supporting the Ukrainian armed forces, we have no plans for a large-scale deployment," he was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Germany's Scholtz tried to caution, "What was agreed among ourselves and with each other from the very beginning also applies to the future, namely that there will be no ground troops, no soldiers on Ukrainian soil sent there by European countries or NATO states."

Macron's bluster further resulted in NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg issuing a response. "NATO allies are providing unprecedented support to Ukraine. We have done that since 2014 and stepped up [support] after the full-scale invasion. But there are no plans for NATO combat troops on the ground in Ukraine," he said.

As for the Kremlin response to Macron raising the issue of 'boots on the ground' - it was snippy and sarcastic, calling out French hypocrisy

"As for Emmanuel Macron’s statements about potentially deploying NATO troops to Ukraine, <...> one gets a strong feeling that the French president realizes neither what his subordinates say nor what he says himself," the diplomat wrote on Telegram.

Zakharova pointed out in this regard that just a month ago, the top French diplomat had denied that Paris was involved in recruiting mercenaries for the Kiev regime, slamming direct evidence as "crude Russian propaganda."

Referencing an infamous French SS division from WW2, Zakharova further quipped: "Emmanuel, have you decided to form a Charlemagne deux (two) division to defend [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky’s bunker?"

But Moscow also warned of major direct conflict with the West. According to more from the Kremlin response: "The very fact of discussing the possibility of sending certain contingents to Ukraine from Nato countries is a very important new element…in that case, we would need to talk not about the probability, but about the inevitability (of a direct conflict)."

But the Kremlin wasn't the only one to provide a sarcastic critique of Macron's words. This was the tone even among some allies. For example Germany’s deputy chancellor Robert Habeck called out France for not doing much heavy lifting on transferring weapons to Kiev compared to other in the alliance.

"I’m pleased that France is thinking about how to increase its support for Ukraine, but if I could give it a word of advice — supply more weapons," Habeck said Tuesday. And yet President Macron wants to 'talk tough' and issue maximalist threats of direct action.

All of this comes as Ukraine is in retreat, following Russia's capture of the eastern city of Avdiivka. Several other smaller towns and cities have also fallen, with Ukraine's front lines in disarray. This has resulted in several days of what might be called empty threats being issued from the West, as it sits helplessly while watching Russian forces advance.

(Article by Tyler Durden republished from Zerohedge.com)

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