Daily Review: Could the West Actually Send Troops to Ukraine?

Daily Review: Could the West Actually Send Troops to Ukraine?
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, and French President Emmanuel Macron attend a press conference at the Mariyinsky palace, Kyiv, Ukraine, June 16, 2022 (AP photo by Natacha Pisarenko).

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned in a speech earlier today that deeper involvement by the West in the war in Ukraine “raises the real threat of a nuclear conflict.” His remarks were a direct response to French President Emmanuel Macron, who said Monday that sending Western ground forces to Ukraine can’t be “ruled out.” (AP)

Our Take

Macron’s comments are the latest in a long line of inflammatory public remarks by the French president, not just about the war in Ukraine but also about other foreign policy issues, like NATO and U.S.-Europe relations. At times these comments appear premeditated, while at others they seem to be off-the-cuff. Either way, they have usually served Macron’s purpose of shaking up the status quo by forcing private conversations into the public sphere and, perhaps more importantly, keeping himself at the center of the narrative.

Of course, this can sometimes be counterproductive. Early in the war, Macron was criticized for repeatedly expressing an equivocal position about the prospects of a negotiated settlement with Russia, and later for voicing his skepticism about Ukraine’s place in the EU and NATO. Both were seen as undermining Kyiv’s war effort as well as European unity. In something of a course correction, Macron has since then sought to position France at the cutting edge of support for Ukraine.

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