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“Operations on the ground” in Ukraine may be necessary, says Macron

Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi Associated Press French President Emmanuel Macron in Berlin on Friday. In the German capital, Mr Macron met Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk in a show of unity between the three countries.

France Media Agency in Paris

7:15 p.m.

  • Europe

French President Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed, in an interview published Saturday evening by Le Parisien, that ground operations in Ukraine by the West might be necessary “at some point”.

“Perhaps at some point — I don't want it, I won't take the initiative — it will be necessary to have operations on the ground, whatever they may be, to counter Russian forces,” he said in this interview conducted Friday, upon his return from Berlin where he met the German and Polish leaders.

“The strength of France is that we can do it,” he added.

In the German capital, Emmanuel Macron met with Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk in a show of unity between the three countries.

The repeated declarations of Emmanuel Macron, who refuses to exclude the sending of ground troops to Ukraine, have sowed disorder among Paris's allies, Germany in the lead, and aroused almost unanimous disapproval from oppositions in France. .

In his interview with Parisien, the president rules out any disagreement within the Franco-German couple on this issue. “I wanted to come to Germany very quickly so as not to create a debate on strategic differences that might exist: they do not exist,” he explains.

“There has never been any disagreement between the chancellor and me. We have a very large commonality of views on the objectives and the situation. It’s the way of translating them that is different,” he continues, highlighting “the strategic cultures” of the two countries.

“Germany has a strategic culture of great caution, of non-intervention, and it keeps its distance from nuclear power,” he explains. “A very different model from that of France, equipped with nuclear weapons and having kept and strengthened a professional army,” he said again.

The French president adds that he gave up a trip to kyiv to go to Berlin on Friday and meet there with Olaf Scholz and Donald Tusk.

He assured that he would meet President Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine before mid-March, a trip which had already been scheduled once for the month of February and then postponed. He now says his visit will take place in the coming weeks.

He also emphasizes the complementarities of the aid that France and Germany can provide.

“Germany spends more than France, has more budgetary space, that’s fortunate. France can do things that Germany cannot,” he told the Parisien, before putting Russia’s power into perspective.

“We must not let ourselves be intimidated, we do not have a great power facing us. Russia is a middle power with nuclear weapons, but whose GDP is much lower than that of Europeans, lower than that of Germany, France,” he said.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116