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Estonian defense minister: No new development on idea to send troops to Ukraine

by Kateryna Denisova and The Kyiv Independent news desk May 14, 2024 3:31 PM 2 min read
Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur speaks to reporters at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, on Oct. 18, 2022. (Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)
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The Estonian government has held no specific discussions on sending the country's troops to Ukraine, Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur said on May 14, according to public broadcaster ERR.

Pevkur was reacting to the Breaking Defense outlet's article that said, citing the country's presidential security advisor Madis Roll, that Tallinn is "seriously" discussing the potential deployment of Estonian troops in non-combat roles in Ukraine.

The minister said that the idea of sending Western troops to Ukraine has not advanced either in Estonia or at the EU level since "there is no clear understanding among the allies what it would bring."

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"I think that they (Breaking Defense) may have interpreted Madis Roll's words too boldly. There is certainly no such initiative on the part of Estonia, and Estonia is certainly not going to do something on its own," Pevkur said.

The priority now is to provide Kyiv with ammunition and to train the Ukrainian military abroad, he added.

The notion of Western troops being sent to Ukraine has been hotly debated since French President Emmanuel Macron said that Western military presence in Ukraine cannot be "ruled out" in the future. The U.S. and multiple European allies, as well as NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, have distanced themselves from Macron's statement.

Macron has nonetheless stood by his suggestion, saying again in May that he would consider sending French troops to Ukraine in the case of a Russian breakthrough or a Ukrainian request.

West’s response to Macron comments on troops to Ukraine reveal discord, weakness, experts say
French President Emmanuel Macron was left on his lonesome by his fellow European allies after saying that the possibility of sending Western troops on the ground in Ukraine should not be “ruled out” in the future. Macron made the remarks on Feb. 26 at a gathering of 20 European heads
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