No allied soldiers in Ukraine

“No allied soldiers in Ukraine”

PARIS – The day after Emmanuel Macron's sensational words – “the sending of Western troops to Ukraine cannot be ruled out” – only Ukrainians expressed a clearly positive opinion. “A signal in the right direction,” said Mykhailo Podoliak, adviser to the Kiev presidency.

During the press conference on Monday evening, at the end of the extraordinary summit at the Elysée Palace, Macron made it clear that “at the moment there is a lack of consensus”, which suggests possible “future dynamics” and Podoliak therefore recognizes this “at the moment” “It's just a proposal for discussion.” But Ukraine is happy that “the French president's statement brings the debate to a higher level.”

A debate in which, however, at the moment there are no other positive positions from the allied governments, not even those that must have led Macron to believe that he could expose himself (perhaps Poland, the Baltic and Scandinavian countries) and which instead are now silent they either distance themselves or publicly distance themselves. Like Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk: “Poland will not send troops, we have a common position with Petr Fiala,” the Czech Prime Minister.

The first to respond were the Russians, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov ready to point out that sending troops “would not be in the interests of the West,” since in this case there would be a direct conflict between NATO and Russia “not in the interests of the West” would be likely but inevitable. But the very fact that this hypothesis is being raised “represents a very important new element in the conflict,” Peskov added.

In a sense, it was France's main target. Sending a message to Moscow reaffirming the principle that the Allies will do “whatever it takes” to prevent Russia from winning the war of aggression against Ukraine that began two years ago, and showing that we are committed to one form of “conventional” “deterrence”, that is, the possibility of deploying armies is not excluded.

However, Macron most likely did not expect such an overall negative reaction from his own camp. “The United States will not send its soldiers to fight in Ukraine, President Biden has already made this clear,” National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said yesterday, adding that “victory comes through military aid that is still in Congress is blocked.” Now.”

A clear no from Italy – “the support of the allies in Kiev does not provide for the presence of troops of European states or NATO on Ukrainian territory,” we read in a note from Palazzo Chigi – as well as from Germany, Spain and even the United Kingdom , which also doesn’t hide the fact that it already has “a small presence in Ukraine.”

Macron himself recalled at the summit that the principle established two years ago was still valid. A principle that – yes – everyone agrees on: “No one wants to go to war with Russia.” And perhaps, paradoxically for France, this is actually the strongest message that is reaching Moscow in these hours.