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27 Feb, 2024 23:37

UK PM rules out ‘large scale’ Ukraine troop deployment

London has distanced itself from the French president’s words about sending NATO forces to aid Kiev
UK PM rules out ‘large scale’ Ukraine troop deployment

The United Kingdom is not planning to put boots on the ground in Ukraine, beyond the support personnel it already has there, a spokesman for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Tuesday.

His remarks came after French President Emmanuel Macron suggested that NATO forces could eventually be deployed in Ukraine. Macron met multiple NATO and EU leaders in Paris on Monday, and said the possibility shouldn't be excluded. “We will do everything necessary to prevent Russia from winning this war,” Macron declared.

The following day, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, as well as the leaders of Germany, Poland and other states – including the UK – made statements distancing themselves away from the idea.

“Beyond the small number of personnel we do have in country supporting the armed forces of Ukraine, we haven’t got any plans for large-scale deployment,” a spokesman from UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s office said. He added that London has taken on the role of training large numbers of Ukrainian troops in the UK, as well as supporting Kiev with armaments and supplies.

The UK has already provided almost $10 billion to support Ukraine’s war effort, according to data provided by Germany’s Kiel Institute. The UK Defense Ministry announced on Saturday that it would provide an additional $311 million over the next year to help mitigate Ukraine’s shortages of artillery shells.

Moscow maintains that deliveries of Western armaments and ammunition to Kiev cannot change the course of conflict, and only cause unnecessary deaths, while making Western sponsors a party to the hostilities and raising the risk of an escalation.