Britain Rubbishes Plans To Put Boots On The Ground In Ukraine

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Britain Rubbishes Plans To Put Boots On The Ground In Ukraine

Britain, the US and Germany have trashed Emmanuel Macron’s threat to put ‘boots on the ground’ in Ukraine after Russia warned it would make war with NATO ‘inevitable’. 

Downing Street insisted there are no plans to deploy British troops to fight alongside Ukraine in the wake of the French president’s claim that the prospect ‘should not be ruled out’.

Joe Biden’s administration said the President had been clear that American forces will not be sent to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, German issued a thinly-veiled rebuke about the speed at which Paris had been supplying weapons to Kyiv, saying that should be Mr Macron’s focus.  

Tories expressed concern at the ‘completely unnecessary rattling of Putin’, saying there are better ways to test his ‘long-term commitment’. 

The Kremlin seized on Mr Macron’s words as it bids to divide the Western military alliance at a crucial point in the war – which has now been raging for two years. 

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the possibility of NATO troops on the ground was an ‘important new element’. 

‘In that case, we would need to talk not about the probability but the inevitability [of war],’ he said. 

Mr Macron said earlier this week that European nations have not ruled out putting boots on the ground.

He said that nothing should be excluded as the West looked for a strategy to counter Russia, which controls just under a fifth of territory recognised as Ukraine.

‘We will do everything that we must so that Russia does not win,’ Macron added.

Asked about the comments, a Downing Street spokesman said: ‘Beyond the small number of personnel in-country supporting the armed forces, we do not have any plans to make large-scale deployments.’ 

Tobias Ellwood, the former chair of the Defence Committee in the House of Commons, told the Telegraph: ‘The idea that you put boots on the ground, which is so totemic and so symbolic, but is completely unnecessary rattling of Putin when there are other ways to test his long-term commitment to seeing this through.’

Germany’s deputy Chancellor, Robert Haebeck, said that France should focus on providing more weapons to Ukrainian troops. 

He said: ‘I’m pleased that France is thinking about how to increase its support for Ukraine, but if I could give it a word of advice – supply more weapons.’

The US also weighed in, denying that American troops would be deployed in Ukraine.

National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson told reporters that Joe Biden ‘has been clear that the US will not send troops to fight in Ukraine.’

Her colleague Jack Kirby added that American troops were only in Ukraine for the accountability of weapons distributed to its troops. 

Kirby denied that US troops could be sent for demining, arms production or cyber operations, as French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne had suggested Western troops could be.

He added that it would be a ‘sovereign decision’ for France or any other NATO country whether to send troops to Ukraine.

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller, asked whether the United States could send troops for other purposes such as training, said the Biden administration opposed any deployment to Ukraine.

‘We’re not sending boots on the ground in Ukraine. The president’s been very clear,’ Miller told reporters.

Both the White House and State Department said the priority was for Congress to approve new military aid to Ukraine.

‘Fundamentally, we think that the path to victory for Ukraine right now is in the United States House of Representatives,’ Miller said.

German Chancellor Olaf Sholz’s deputy, Robert Habeck, made a swipe about France’s provision of weapons lagging.

‘I’m pleased that France is thinking about how to increase its support for Ukraine, but if I could give it a word of advice: supply more weapons,’ Mr Habeck said. 


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