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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron (L) wave as they visit the landmark Brandenburg Gate illuminated in the colors of the Ukrainian flag in Berlin on May 9, 2022. Photo for illustrative purposes. (John MacDougall/AFP via Getty Images)
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French President Emmanuel Macron said on Feb. 26 that the possibility of sending Western troops on the ground in Ukraine is not "ruled out" in the future, following discussions among European leaders as Russia's full-scale invasion entered its third year.

"We will do everything needed so Russia cannot win the war," Macron declared during a gathering of 20 European heads of state and other Western officials in Paris. The meeting included German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Polish President Andrzej Duda as well as leaders from the Baltic states.

"There’s no consensus today to send in an official, endorsed manner troops on the ground. But in terms of dynamics, nothing can be ruled out," Macron emphasized in a news conference, according to Associated Press.

Macron declined to provide specifics regarding which nations were considering sending troops, adding that he prefers to maintain some "strategic ambiguity."

Earlier, Macron urged European leaders to ensure the continent’s "collective security" by offering steadfast support to Ukraine amidst heightened Russian offensives on the battlefield in recent months. "In recent months particularly, we have seen Russia getting tougher," Macron remarked. "We also know that Russia is preparing new attacks, in particular to shock Ukrainian public opinion."

Macron highlighted the imperative to bolster security measures to preempt any future Russian assaults on other countries. Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia, along with the larger Poland, have been speculated as potential targets of future Russian expansionism. All four countries steadfastly support Ukraine.

Estonia's foreign minister emphasized earlier this month that NATO has a timeframe of approximately three to four years to enhance its defensive capabilities as Russian leader Vladimir Putin ramps up his nation's military activities.

Addressing the leaders via video link, President Volodymyr Zelensky emphasized the need for Ukraine and its allies to collaborate this year in ensuring that "Russia loses its deadly advantages," as it has already ceded ground and maritime advantages.

“We have to prove that we can deprive Russia of its air supremacy, its financing of aggression, and its political power,” Zelensky said.

The president further outlined that 2024 should mark a decisive moment for the West to seize Russian assets and escalate sanctions against Moscow.

Ukraine war latest: Ukraine withdraws from Lastochkyne, Syrskyi prepares two war plans contingent on US aid
Key developments on Feb. 26: * Military: Ukraine withdraws from Lastochkyne near Avdiivka * Syrskyi drawing up two war plans contingent on US aid, Zelensky says * Scholz again rules out Germany’s delivery of long-range Taurus missiles * Kuleba calls for Europe to suspend ammunition sales to thi…

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8:28 PM

FT: Russia may be gearing up for large-scale offensive against Ukraine.

Russian forces may be preparing for a large-scale offensive in late spring or summer, aiming to capture more land in Ukraine's partially-occupied Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, the Financial Times reported on April 13, citing unnamed Ukrainian and Western officials.
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