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Emmanuel Macron (on February 19th in Paris)

Photo: Ludovic Marin / EPA

So far there is one red line: Western ground units should not be directly involved in the Ukraine war.

Ultimately, the consequences of such involvement of NATO soldiers against Russia would be unforeseeable.

Now it seems as if there is at least a need for discussion on the topic.

French President Emmanuel Macron no longer rules out the use of ground troops in Ukraine by his country to prevent a Russian victory in Ukraine.

Macron said this after concluding a Ukraine aid conference in Paris on Monday evening.

More than 20 heads of state and government were present at the meeting, including Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD).

"Today there is no consensus about officially sending ground troops," said Macron.

»But nothing can be ruled out in the dynamic.

We will do everything necessary to ensure that Russia cannot win this war." Many people who said "never, never" today are the same people who said two years ago, "never, never tanks, never, never airplanes, "Never, ever longer range missiles."

Today the discussion is about becoming faster and stronger in the delivery of tanks and missiles.

»So anything is possible if it helps us achieve our goal.«

"The general conclusion today is that the security of all of us is at stake," said Macron at the start of the conference, which was organized at short notice.

Russia's stance is hardening both at the political level and on the front in Ukraine, where there is a threat of new Russian attacks.

A Russian defeat is necessary for stability and security in Europe.

That's why Ukraine's supporters need to get a move on.

“We are in the process of ensuring our security today and tomorrow,” said Macron.

"We don't want to go to war with the Russian people," the president also said.

Before leaving for the Paris meeting, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico warned of a "dangerous escalation of tensions" with Russia.

Individual countries, which he did not want to name, were apparently prepared to send their own soldiers directly to Ukraine.

However, that would not persuade Russia to give in, but it would certainly increase the risk of the conflict expanding.

After the conference, when asked about the possible deployment of troops by Poland, Macron said that each country could independently and sovereignly decide on the deployment of ground troops.

Common debt for European defense spending?

At the meeting it was decided to form a coalition that would provide Ukraine with medium and long-range missiles and bombs for strikes far behind Russian lines, the French president said.

In the short term, additional ammunition should also be mobilized for Ukraine from our own stocks and from third countries.

Among other things, initiatives were agreed on cyber defense, the co-production of weapons, military capabilities and ammunition in Ukraine, as well as the defense of countries that are directly threatened by the Russian offensive in Ukraine, especially Moldova.

Macron also said they wanted to support Ukraine on its border with Belarus with non-military forces.

It was also about defusing mines.

There is currently no decision to deliver French Mirage fighter jets.

However, we are still checking which French military material could help Ukraine, said Macron, who wants to travel to Ukraine himself by mid-March.

At the conference it was fundamentally decided to provide more aid to Ukraine more quickly, said Macron.

France also supports considerations of using common debt to finance European defense spending in view of the Ukraine war.

Similar to the Corona crisis, all European countries are affected by Russia's aggression, which justifies the special route of shared debt.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who joined the conference at short notice with a video message, had called for further help so that Russia does not expand its aggression to other countries.