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Italian minister says he's against deploying Western troops in Ukraine

by Alexander Khrebet March 11, 2024 2:02 AM 2 min read
A recently bombed residential area is seen amid artillery shelling on Dec. 31, 2023, in Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast. The remaining residents living in basements of residential buildings rely on humanitarian aid. The city is facing attacks on three sides from Russian forces, including continuous bombings. (Pierre Crom/Getty Images)
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Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto has expressed his opposition to the idea of deploying Western troops to Ukraine, saying that such a move would hinder diplomatic efforts, the Italian newspaper La Stampa reported on March 10.

The comments came after French President Emmanuel Macron recently 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.

Crosetto told the Italian parliament that the Ukrainian counteroffensive in 2023 did not achieve the intended outcome, emphasizing the need for a realistic assessment of the military situation.

“From this perspective... it would seem that the time has come for incisive diplomacy, alongside military support, because there are a number of important signals coming from both sides,” Crosetto said, as cited by Reuters.

In a March 10 interview with the Italian newspaper La Stampa, Crosetto also said that sending troops to Ukraine would represent a unilateral escalation, which could impede diplomatic solutions.

He argued against considering this option after two years of war, highlighting the need to explore alternatives.

“No to the military in Ukraine. France should not speak for NATO,” Crosetto told La Stampa.

Crosetto noted that statements suggesting the possibility of deploying Western troops to Ukraine made by France and Poland do not represent NATO's collective position.

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said on March 8 that he did not rule out the potential presence of NATO troops in Ukraine.

While acknowledging the efforts of Western countries to supply weapons to Ukraine, Crosetto admitted that production levels still fall short of Russia's capabilities. He also talked about the importance of providing comprehensive support to Kyiv while advocating for a more robust activation of diplomatic channels to help Ukraine regain its freedom, territory, and security.

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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