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Prime Minister of Lithuania Ingrida Simonyte at a press conference following the 'Grain from Ukraine' International summit meeting on Nov. 25, 2023 in Kyiv. (Dmytro Larin /Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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Lithuania would be willing to send its personnel to train Ukrainian soldiers on Ukrainian soil if needed, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte told Bloomberg on May 31.

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.

"This is a long-standing exercise in which we train Ukrainian soldiers. We trained them before this invasion, and this is a long-lasting cooperation between our military forces and the Ukrainian military forces. We train them in third countries, and we train them in Lithuania," Simonyte said.

"Lithuania, if needed, maybe would train them also in Ukraine in partnership with countries that would be willing to do so."

Some NATO member states were discussing the possibility of sending military instructors or contractors to Ukraine to train Ukrainian troops and assist with equipment repairs, the New York Times reported in mid-May.

Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur said earlier 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."

In turn, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said Poland should not rule out sending its troops to Ukraine.

According to Reuters, France may announce its decision as early as next week to send military instructions to Ukraine.

Reuters: France could soon send its military instructors to Ukraine, sources say
France may announce its decision next week during a visit by President Volodymyr Zelensky, according to Reuters.

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