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Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD)


Markus Schreiber / AP

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has clearly rejected French President Emmanuel Macron's consideration of sending Western troops to Ukraine.

It also applies to the future that "there will be no ground troops, no soldiers on Ukrainian soil that will be sent there by European states or NATO states," said Scholz during a visit to Freiburg.

The evening before, at the end of a Ukraine conference in Paris, Macron said that sending Western troops to Ukraine should not be ruled out.

Scholz also emphasized that Western soldiers “are not allowed to take an active part in war activities” even from their home countries.

The opposition to sending Western troops to Ukraine is shared by the allies, Scholz said.

He referred to the deliberations at the international Ukraine conference the evening before in Paris: the opinion there was "very unanimous" "as far as this question is concerned."

Macron caused a stir with his statements at the end of the conference.

There is currently no consensus on sending troops to Ukraine, he said.

"But nothing must be ruled out in order to achieve the goal." The goal is that Russia should not win.

The heads of government of Poland and the Czech Republic expressed skepticism about the move.

Poland is not planning to send its own units, said Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk after a meeting with his Czech colleague Petr Fiala in Prague.

Today we must concentrate on providing maximum support to Ukraine in its own military efforts against the Russian invasion.

He did not want to speculate at this time whether this position could change under certain circumstances in the future.

Fiala also expressed the same sentiment.

“There is no need to look for new paths,” emphasized the liberal-conservative politician.

He referred to an initiative by his government to procure artillery ammunition from third countries and deliver it to Kiev in cooperation with other European states such as the Netherlands.

Tusk emphasized that if all EU member states were as committed as the Czech Republic and Poland, there would be no need to discuss other forms of support.

Kremlin criticizes discussion

The Kremlin itself has sharply criticized ideas about the deployment of Western ground troops in Ukraine.

Sending troops would make a conflict between Russia and NATO not only likely but inevitable, said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, according to the state news agency Tass.

The West must be aware that the consequences do not correspond to its interests and certainly not to the interests of its citizens, he added.

“The very fact that the possibility of sending any contingents from NATO states to Ukraine is of course very important and a new element,” commented Peskov.

Macron's position of wanting to inflict a defeat on Russia is well known.

At the same time, Moscow has noticed that a number of states are sober enough to recognize the potential danger of becoming involved in a conflict on the battlefield.