‘If Russia is not stopped in Ukraine, there will be a war in Europe,’ Ukrainian FM says

Dmytro Kuleba
Dmytro Kuleba

The discussion sparked by French President Emmanuel Macron's idea to send Western troops to Ukraine will save Europe a lot of time, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in an interview with Latvian news outlet Delfi published on March 9.

Kyiv is not aware of any earlier discussions between EU or NATO allies on the deployment of Western troops.

Read also: Polish Foreign Minister supports Macron's strengthening stance on Ukraine

"Do we have the impression that Paris is the first European capital to publicly acknowledge the obvious?” Kuleba said.

“Yes, I think so. Do other capitals feel anxious and uncomfortable with this statement of fact? Yes, that is also obvious. But the discussion that this statement from Paris has sparked will save Europe a lot of time in recognizing that it needs to do more."

"We have to do this for you and for ourselves," Macron told President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Paris, according to Kuleba.

Macron has an understanding that is still lacking in some European capitals. Helping Ukraine is "not charity," but saving the lives of European citizens and money that would have been spent on their own defense.

Read also: ‘No red lines’ for French support of Ukraine — Macron

"This message from Macron is what everyone knows but is afraid to say. He is simply the first to speak openly about what I think every sane person in Europe should understand,” Kuleba said.

“If Russia is not stopped in Ukraine, there will be a war in Europe."

Earlier, French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné backed the idea of sending foreign troops to Ukraine during his visit to Lithuania to meet with his Baltic and Ukrainian counterparts.

"It is not for Russia to tell us how we should help Ukraine in the coming months or years," he said at a meeting chaired by Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis and attended by his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba.

"It is not for Russia to organize how we deploy our actions, or to set red lines. So we decide it among ourselves."

The meeting comes as Ukraine suffers from a shortage of artillery ammunition, making it difficult to stop the onslaught of Russian attacks.

Baltic ministers praised France for "thinking outside the box."

French President Emmanuel Macon raised the possibility that Western soldiers may have to be sent to Ukraine after a conference in support of Kyiv held in Paris on Feb. 26. In response to Macron's statements, several NATO countries publicly rejected the idea of sending troops to Ukraine, including Poland, the United States, Germany, Czech Republic, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Read also: France advocates for strategic balance of power amid discussion of Western troops in Ukraine

However, the three Baltic countries — the most exposed to any Russian attack should Moscow succeed in its war against Ukraine — are much more open to the idea.

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anušauskas did not reject the possibility of sending troops but clarified that they will send them only for training missions. General Onno Eichelsheim, Chief of the General Staff of the Dutch Army, said that "all options should be kept open."

Warsaw is also shifting its position.

The AFP news agency quoted a source as saying that European NATO member states had been studying the possibility of sending NATO troops to Ukraine for weeks.

On Feb. 29, French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal explained that French troops could participate in the war on the side of Ukraine to protect certain borders, take part in exercises or ground air defense. He stated that there will be no participation of French soldiers in battles “directly on the front line.”

Read also: Discussions on deployment of NATO troops in Ukraine should be stopped – Pistorius

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine