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Europe, US consider various ways to help Ukraine, including sending NATO troops - US expert Fried

25 May, 2024 Saturday
16:16

Former US State Department's Coordinator for Sanctions Policy Daniel Fried believes that the United States and European countries are considering various options to increase and expand military assistance to Ukraine in the war with Russia

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He expressed this opinion on Espreso TV

"President Macron has been pushing the envelope of support for Ukraine, and I welcome this. I think it is a good idea to start considering different kinds of options. There have been many ideas floated recently about sending technical experts – Americans and Europeans with technical abilities – to help the Ukrainians, to train Ukrainian soldiers, and to repair Ukrainian equipment inside Ukraine. There have also been proposals that NATO units stationed in Poland or Romania, but principally Poland, be allowed to use their weapons to shoot down Russian missiles and drones attacking targets inside Ukraine. There have been several such proposals. None has been accepted yet, but it does show that the United States and Europe are considering what more they need to do to help Ukraine defend itself," Fried said.

According to the expert, the NATO summit in Washington should demonstrate readiness to accept Ukraine into the Alliance

"There are, of course, many issues being worked on in the run-up to the NATO summit in Washington in July. This is coming up very fast, and that summit needs to show that Ukraine's ultimate place will be as a NATO member in the future. The US administration and Secretary Blinken have started talking about building a bridge to NATO. That's an imperfect metaphor. However, if that bridge is strong – made of steel and not of paper – if it actually leads to NATO membership, and if it is short and not too long, the metaphor can be useful. It can be a way to push through policies that will actually achieve this goal," he added.

Presence of NATO forces in Ukraine

On February 26, about 20 European leaders met in Paris to discuss the threats posed by Russian leader Vladimir Putin. They were addressed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

After the conference, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that the deployment of Western ground troops to combat Russian aggression should not be ruled out in the future.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico confirmed that some NATO and EU member states are allegedly discussing the possibility of sending their troops to Ukraine after signing bilateral agreements with Kyiv.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the leaders of the Alliance stated that no general decision had been made to send troops to Ukraine, while Russia called the move a declaration of war.

On February 29, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said that Western leaders should not rule out the possibility of sending ground troops to Ukraine.

On March 4, Macron said that he would not send troops to Ukraine in the near future, but opened a debate on the issue.

On March 5, Macron called on allies "not to be cowards" with regard to Ukraine and to step up. German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius responded to his call.

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that the discussion provoked by French President Emmanuel Macron's words about the deployment of Western troops in Ukraine would save Europe a lot of time in realizing that more needs to be done.

On March 11, Czech President Petr Pavel said that the support of Ukraine by NATO troops directly on its territory would not violate any international norms.

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that the discussion provoked by French President Emmanuel Macron's comments on the deployment of Western troops in Ukraine would save Europe a lot of time in realizing that more needs to be done.

The Estonian government is seriously discussing the possibility of sending troops to Ukraine to take over the rear in western Ukraine.

On May 14, it was reported that Sweden is open to sending troops to Ukraine if this proposal is made at the level of NATO member states.

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