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Reuters: France invites Ukraine's allies, NATO head for video call on March 7

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 5, 2024 10:42 PM 2 min read
French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky prior to a meeting at the Elysee Presidential Palace on Feb. 16, 2024, in Paris, France. (Chesnot/Getty Images)
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France has invited officials from Ukraine's key allies and NATO chief to participate in a video call on March 7 aimed at demonstrating a "united front" and developing concrete proposals to strengthen support for Ukraine, Reuters reported on March 5.

French President Emmanuel Macron has faced a backlash from many Western allies after saying at a Paris-based conference last week that sending Western troops to Ukraine can not be "ruled out" in the future.

France scheduled a follow-up conference to take place in Paris with officials from 28 countries, but it was reduced to a video call, Reuters wrote.

The virtual meeting will reportedly consider ways to accelerate the delivery of key capabilities, in particular, the supply and production of artillery shells, as well as setting up a system that would allow partners to improve ways to empty their ammunition stockpiles and create new options for medium- and long-range missiles.

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

"Without becoming parties to the conflict ourselves," the meeting will also explore support for Ukraine through cyber defense, demining, protecting the border with Belarus, and coordination of production and maintenance of equipment in Ukraine, according to the invitation seen by Reuters.

The invitation did not mention sending non-combat troops to Ukraine.

It was sent to allies' foreign and defense ministers as well as NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the EU's top diplomat Josep Borrell, who were not invited to the Feb. 26 Paris summit.

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba will also take part in the meeting via video link, unnamed diplomats told Reuters.

Macron and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, signed an agreement on Feb. 16 on a long-term security cooperation between the two countries, under which Paris pledged 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) in military aid this year.

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