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HomeNewsMacron’s ‘troops in Ukraine’ idea was misinterpreted – Kiev

Macron’s ‘troops in Ukraine’ idea was misinterpreted – Kiev

EU leaders “panicked” over remarks that were actually about military instructors, Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has claimed

Ukraine doesn’t need NATO troops on its territory to defeat Russia, Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has said.

He claimed that remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron suggesting that the US-led alliance would eventually be deployed to Ukraine had been misinterpreted.

Macron’s comments in late February triggered a barrage of statements by NATO countries, asserting that they had no plans to send soldiers to Ukraine. Kuleba described the reaction of European leaders as “panicking,” Italian newspaper La Stampa reported on Wednesday.

”Macron only meant to say that there is the possibility of training Ukrainian soldiers directly in Ukraine, and not outside as it is happening now,” Kuleba told a group of foreign journalists. What his nation needs from foreign donors are weapons, particularly drones, and not manpower, he added.

Earlier this week, El Pais reported that military personnel from NATO states have been operating in Ukraine, assisting “in virtually every possible aspect” of the conflict with Russia apart from active combat operations. This included training troops inside Ukraine, the Spanish newspaper said, citing interviews with various sources over the past two years.

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NATO troops active in Ukraine – El Pais

Some former NATO soldiers have joined the Ukrainian Armed Forces as volunteers and serve as informants for their governments, tracking donated weapons and updating them on the frontline situation, the report added.

Moscow perceives the Ukraine conflict as a proxy war against Russia by the West. It treats foreign combatants as mercenaries and legitimate targets, senior officials have warned. In January, the Defense Ministry reported hitting a base of predominantly French fighters in the Ukrainian city of Kharkov, claiming that some 60 of them were killed.

On Tuesday, the head of Russian foreign intelligence, Sergey Naryshkin, claimed that a force of up to 2,000 troops was being prepared by France for a possible intervention.

The Russian official suggested that the deployment was meant to be done in secret. Paris dismissed Naryshkin’s statements as an act of information warfare by Moscow and an “irresponsible” provocation.

READ MORE: French army ‘ready for war’ – top general

Meanwhile, the chief of staff of the French Army, General Pierre Schill, said in an interview this week that the armed forces were ready to act, “whatever the developments in the international situation.” A division of around 20,000 men could be deployed within 30 days, he told the media.



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