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27 Mar, 2024 11:29

US angry with Macron – Bloomberg

The French president has forced NATO members to confirm their red lines on Ukraine with a remark about boots on the ground
US angry with Macron – Bloomberg

Sources in the US government are angry with French President Emmanuel Macron, after his suggestion that preventing a Russian victory in the Ukraine conflict could require a NATO military force, Bloomberg has reported.

A senior US official has told the outlet that some in Washington believe Macron might trigger a clash with Moscow. The French leader’s justification for his statement has been criticized by allies behind closed doors, according to a report on Wednesday.

After hosting a pro-Kiev gathering in Paris in late February, Macron said that NATO members “cannot exclude anything,” including having boots on the ground, and predicted that a shift in favor of that option could come in the future. He later argued that the Russian government should be kept guessing about the extent of Western backing for Kiev. In internal NATO discussions, some people have argued that he achieved the opposite, Bloomberg was told.

Numerous Western leaders publicly ruled out sending troops after Macron’s comments, dispelling any ambiguity it may have been intended to create. US President Joe Biden was among those to do so, as was German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

The French leader’s move may not have been smart from the standpoint of operational security, since some Western nations do already have a small number of troops in Ukraine, the outlet's sources claim. Their presence, however, is an open secret. Scholz has explained his refusal to send long-range missiles to Ukraine by saying that unlike the UK and France, Germany is not ready to send its personnel to help fire the weapons.

Moscow considers the Ukraine conflict part of a US-led proxy war with Russia. Western nations have acknowledged providing targeting information and assistance with planning Ukrainian military operations. The Russian leadership has dismissed the Western position that Kiev makes its own decisions on how to conduct hostilities. Ukraine is too dependent on foreign aid to act independently, Kremlin officials have said.