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Politico: Finnish FM does not rule out sending Western troops to Ukraine

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 16, 2024 9:54 AM 2 min read
Finnish Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen (L), Finnish Defense Minister Antii Hakkanen (C) and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R) during the signing of the U.S.-Finland defense cooperation agreement on Dec. 18, 2023. (Finnish Embassy in the U.S./X)
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Western countries should not rule out the notion of sending troops to Ukraine if the battlefield condition further deteriorates, Finnish Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen told Politico on March 15.

Valtonen's remarks were the latest in a series of discussions about the possibility of sending Western troops to Ukraine that have been ongoing since French President Emmanuel Macron said in February that it should not be taken off the table.

Macron's comments sparked a lively debate among allies, with many NATO members, including Germany and the U.S., emphatically rejecting the possibility. Macron has since doubled down, saying on March 14 that the war in Ukraine is "existential" for France and that "all options are possible."

Finland is not currently willing to send troops or even ready to discuss it, Valtonen said.

At the same time, "It's important that we not rule everything out for the long term, because we never know how serious the situation becomes," she said.

Following Macron's suggestion, then-Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said in February that he was not in favor of sending troops to Ukraine. Niinisto has since been succeeded as president by former Prime Minister Alexander Stubb, who is an outspoken proponent of supporting Ukraine.

Valtonen said that increasing the West's assistance to Ukraine is currently more important, emphasizing that "many European countries could do so much more."

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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