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15 May, 2024 09:18

New NATO member has no plans to send troops to Ukraine

There’s no consensus on military deployments among nations in the US-led bloc, Sweden’s defense minister has said  
New NATO member has no plans to send troops to Ukraine

Sweden has no plans to deploy troops to Ukraine but may reconsider its position if this move is proposed by its NATO allies, Defense Minister Pal Jonson has said.  

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Jonson noted that there is no “unified position” among members of the US-led military bloc at this stage.   

“There’s no concrete proposal for it here and now. If it comes up, a concrete proposal, we can take it into review,” the Breaking Defense news outlet quoted the defense minister as saying.   

French President Emmanuel Macron has floated the idea of sending NATO troops to Ukraine. However, a number of NATO countries have pushed back against the idea, insisting they have no plans to deploy troops. Bloc members have instead agreed to ramp up efforts to deliver more munitions to Kiev in its conflict with Russia.  

Sweden abandoned its 200-year policy of neutrality in 2022, citing the Ukraine conflict as its reason for applying to NATO. It became a member of the US-led military bloc in March, after running into delays due to political disputes with Türkiye and Hungary.  

Earlier this month, Sweden’s Defense Ministry announced it will allocate €28 million ($30 million) to several funds to boost Kiev’s military capabilities.  

Through these payments, the Scandinavian country aims to “strengthen Ukraine’s defense in terms of drones, mine clearance, and by strengthening the capabilities of the Ukrainian navy,” Jonson said in a statement on May 9.  

Earlier this week, Canadian Defense Minister Bill Blair also said troops would not be sent to the embattled country. While Ottawa is open to “evolving” its stance, as of now there are no such plans, he insisted.   

“Just to make it very clear, the conditions, in my opinion, are not yet appropriate to deploy Canadian troops in any capacity into Ukraine, as it pertains to their combat zone,” Blair told reporters at a Defense Writers Group event on Monday.   

“We need to be very cautious about doing anything that would implicate our militaries in the combat zone,” he warned.  

In recent months NATO countries have increasingly speculated about a possible military deployment in Ukraine.  

Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said last week that she had been given the authority by parliament to deploy troops to Ukraine for training.   

Moscow has warned that any NATO troop deployment to Ukraine would be treated as a major escalation and would almost certainly lead to a direct confrontation between Russia and the US-led bloc.